The Xbox Insider Program allows consumers to test out upcoming Xbox One features, and today Microsoft announced an expansion to the service. The Alpha ring is getting another entry called the "Alpha – Skip Ahead" ring. The subset will allow certain Alpha members to test out advanced builds months before they're ready for the general public. This means that you'll be able to get your hands on new features even sooner. The Skip Ahead ring will be available to all Alpha members in the coming weeks, and later by invitation to Xbox Insiders in other rings.

According to Microsoft, "By piloting builds well in advance of their release, Xbox Insiders will play an even bigger role in shaping the future of Xbox and will be able to communicate their sentiment and suggested changes to members of the Xbox Feature Team... Community and fan feedback has never been more critical to helping craft the future of the Xbox ecosystem." This is a welcome addition to the Xbox Insider Program and one that was desperately needed.

It's great to see the company embracing community feedback in this manner. The Xbox One interface has come a long way since its 2013 release, and this means that even more fan-requested features should hit the console soon. Community feedback has become an important tool for developers over the past few years and with the backing of a company like Microsoft, it should set the standard for how developers approach their projects.

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