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The former head of Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program has a new AI gig at the company

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Microsoft is launching a new program aimed at helping developers use and expand its AI-based Copilot services, and it has put in a familiar name to be in charge of that program.

Dona Sarkar, who is perhaps best known to Neowin readers for her previous leadership of the Windows Insider Program, announced today on her LinkedIn page, that she is now heading up a new “AI and Copilot Extensibility Dev Program” at Microsoft.

In her post, Sarkar stated:

I started writing code in 1998 (!) and over the past 25 years (!!) I have seen the magical things that being a developer can do. Over the past year’ish, my team and I have been getting skilled up in all things Generative AI and getting hands-on in code again. I’ve LOVED this and realized there has never been a more exciting time to be a developer…so I’m headed back to my dev roots.

Sarkar stated she would report to Microsoft’s office of its Chief Technology Office and all of Copilot’s owners to help create this new program. She says it will be designed to help third-party developers access and expand Copilot services so they can use their own data to create AI-based products.

She added that developers will be “seeing *a lot* of tutorials, blogs, videos, code samples, skilling stuff, and experimental content from me in the upcoming weeks”. The plan is to have an official launch of the program at Microsoft’s Ignite conference, which will happen on November 15.

Sarkar was the head of Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program for over three years until her departure in 2019 to head up the advocacy and evangelism program for the Microsoft Power Platform. In 2021, she took on another new position, this time as Director of Tech for Microsoft Accessibility.

In her LinkedIn post today, Sarkar stated:

While I am INCREDIBLY excited about this new opportunity, I’m also very sad. I have LOVED my 2.5 years in Accessibility. I have never learned so much about the human impact of tech before and you KNOW I will forever focus on making sure that people with disabilities, neurodiversity and mental health have equitable access to tech.

In the meantime, developers with interest in extending Copilot services can check out this poll that will give Sarkar more info on how to handle her AI developer strategy.

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