Microsoft has urged enterprises to boost the number of employee PCs that run the Insider preview of Windows 10, telling corporate customers that there have been "too few" participants in the testing program.

During an hour-long session at Microsoft's Ignite conference in Orlando, Fla., two weeks ago, Michael Niehaus, director of product marketing for Windows, told his audience that businesses need to add devices to the beta program, and that they should consider making it mandatory for everyone in an enterprise IT department.

"As many machines as you can possibly get into that Insider preview process, into the Insider preview program, the better," said Niehaus as he described Microsoft's advice.

Niehaus' session wasn't the first time Microsoft has banged the Insider drum. The company has promoted the basic program since 2014, and this spring launched an enterprise-specific spin-off, dubbed "Windows Insider Program for Business." Then, last month, Microsoft kicked off "Windows Insider Lab for Enterprise" to give IT professionals an opportunity to test-drive current and pre-release services and features targeting large customers.

And all along the Windows-as-a-service (WaaS) road, Microsoft has made it clear to companies that they should be running the Insider previews on some Windows 10 PCs.

At Ignite, Niehaus again made the case for enterprise participation, stressing both for companies' own good and to help Microsoft.

"You need to be looking at new features, and figuring out how do you want to deploy those new features, how do you want to implement those new features, how do you want to configure those new features?" said Niehaus of the two feature upgrades released to Windows 10 users each year. "That gets you prepared by the point of release to do those targeted pilot deployments."

In Microsoft's view, as expressed by Niehaus, enterprises should, first, participate in Insider to prepare for the release of the next feature upgrade, and second, "pilot" that release using a large group of PCs and their users once the upgrade has debuted. Essentially, the pilot program is a way to prepare for the widespread distribution of the Windows 10 build to all devices, and all users.

In other words, it's all about prep.

"We want every organization to deploy those preview builds, and start using those to plan and prepare for the release that will be coming," Niehaus said.