MSFS2024 Insider Program

Will the previous 2020 Alpha testers also be included in the MSFS2024 Insider program ?? - asking for a friend :slight_smile:

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And/or will it be opened up again?

I tried to get in for 2020, but would love to get in for 2024

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I’m just going to take a guess, but I wouldn’t imagine this would be out until probably August 2024. I wouldn’t expect to see it going to beta until a couple months before that. So we are probably a year away from any type of beta. I don’t think anyone has any answers this early about how the beta process will work at all.

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Tough to say how this will go. Quite possibly much differently than 3 years ago.

With the 2020 alpha it turned out they had a LOT to hide (I and many others thought they would be about a year farther along dev-wise than they were on launch day) and were insane about the NDAs and whatnot because of this. Now that they’re building on a much more stable existing base and are consequently much more transparent about minimum expectations, they might want to use an open insder/beta/alpha program to build hype.

It’ll be a refreshing change if MS/Asobo can have a less antagonistic relationship toward its userbase than it did when playing NDA cop in spring of 2020.

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Dont I know. I was one of those screaming Beta testers yelling “Its not Ready”

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Wow yeah, I can’t imagine what it must have been like being part of the alpha in July 2020 knowing what was about to be dropped. No mouth, but want to scream from a mountaintop that everyone needs to lower their expectations and that essentially the official release was just them paywalling the alpha and calling it a 1.0.

There were a lot of comments made amongst alpha, then beta testers about the state of the sim, especially with the (let’s call it ambitious) R.T.M. date.
As usual, ridiculous speculation, innuendo and insinuation was rife in the pre-launch phase. The gossip that took hold like wildfire was all unfounded and a lot of people were left disappointed at launch.

Anyway, I would guess that the alpha and beta teams will be smaller than for MSFS2020. The technology and server capacity is well-known now, the new sim is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. It should be a smoother roll-out this time :crossed_fingers:

The important thing to remember is that testing is exactly that, not just playing in advance of everyone else.

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With the way they’ve been doing “betas” for the past 2 years, in practice it’s been a little of column A, a little of column B, but with the betas mostly 99.9% playable more column B.

I could see them doing a big, somewhat brief (<2 months) open beta if shared cockpit is going to be a big launch feature and they need to test whether or not the servers die with a real world load. Otherwise, yeah, another tiny group of testers up to their neck in an aggressively policed NDA so we don’t revolt when it gets pushed to mid 2025 and there’s effectively been a feature freeze for 2 years.

Disregarding the “it’s not ready” crowd and the just want to play early crowd, as a tester for MSFS i would like to show my hand for actually testing the next sim, reporting issues and being part of a helpful team.

Thanks.

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I was on the Alpha and the Beta. Wasn’t too loud, but me and a number of others advised not to publish at the time that they did.

Despite that, I’d be happy to do the same again with 2024 if they wanted me to be a part of it. I think the Beta public release was a mistake though; I think it went to a lot of normal users who had no real idea about testing. I’ve also Beta tested every Microsoft OS from Windows '95 until Windows 10.

In these situations, you have to be willing to accept that there’s a good chance that the sim/ application / OS is going to crash your computer, and you have to be willing to accept this as a part and parcel of being on the team.

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If there is gonna be an insider program, I’ll sign up.

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I’m not going to apply (if applications exist) this time. There was too much bad feeling from those that weren’t in the programme for the 2020 game, such as “why didn’t you spot this” and how could you let this pass etc.

Many of us screamed at the Asobo and MS people to delay release but no, release went ahead with bugs ‘n’ all.

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If following the timeline like 2020, perhaps alpha Nov/Dec at earliest this year and run through to end of July '24… ? Its nice to speculate and look forward, although 2020 still has several SU left in her yet!

I hope they do add the cohort(!) that went through 2020 alhpa and/or SU betas. Even if its done via sign-up process, that there might be some favourable weighting towards people who have participated in Alpha / Beta before.

Is there any decision already made about a beta version or not?

I was miffed about this as well.

But given the great success that MSFS has been, don’t you think that this time they would want to listen to us and slow the release down, if indeed they did ask for testers?

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They did survey the beta testers last time and asked if you would be willing to pay for it in the current state (or something like that). I actually voted in the positive even though there were some annoying bugs and lack of some functionality. It mostly worked and people were chomping at the bit (it had been 14 years since FSX came out). It’s easy for people on the beta to tell them to wait until all bugs are fixed because they are getting access to it. Everyone else was just dying to get ahold of it. I don’t think it was any worse of launch than many other AAA games have these days and they did squash major bugs pretty quickly.

I also figured that once the sales were rolling, they’d be able to afford more resources to accelerate the bug fixes and add the missing functionality.

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I think a major issue with the first release was inviting basically anybody into the BETA.

I know that may sound a little selfish, but who knows what sort of characters we may have had in the test. I can speak for myself being that I’m a fixed wing pilot, and also that I’ve been a BETA tester for Justflight, and for Microsoft on every OS since Windows '95.

If you go into testing, you can’t be the kind of person who will complain if something crashes your computer.

We were never TESTERs. We were insiders, free preview of what was to come. Thinking we had any opinions on what was being worked on or fixed is preposterous.

We were always a version or two behind the developmental version of the game. This became abundantly clear once the Marketing version was released to game reviewers and social media influencers.

There was very little organized for any actual testing. It was more of a have a copy of the game and enjoy it. There were a few things on the forums but nothing close to a list of open issues, a list of fixes, and a valid method of reporting back to the developers. Quite the opposite, we were informed there was another group of hired professionals, that was responsible for quality control.

They had such a large quantity of insiders they lost control. Videos were getting leaked so they spammed your ID all over the game. They spent time trying to outwit a few bad apples that could have gone to making a better overall experience. Toward the end, they allowed all sorts of media versions to be shown while keeping the insiders capped under an NDA. This was the weirdest experience I have ever had with Microsoft, and I participated in both Windows and Office.

After experiencing the insider program, I would recommend they DON’T do it again. It turned into a waste of time, effort, and resources that could have been put into the original game. The insider program was all about building hype. With 14 million users of MSFS they don’t need the marketing hype. Releasing information over a year from delivery is more than hype enough. The slow leak of videos and information should keep most glued to their seats and speculating about what is to come. Look at the buzz already in this forum and other platforms.

Notice they removed the badge of shame from Alpha and Beta Insiders. A long time ago they use to mark us with their scarlet letter, now we are just one of many.

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Sorry, what’s this? I don’t recall it at all.

except that is not true. We were actually disappointingly always on the build about to be released.