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Microsoft Releases First Windows 10 Preview For Smartphones

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Windows Insiders with certain Lumia smartphones can now test Microsoft’s vision of a converged operating system

Microsoft has released the first version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview for smartphones and has invited Windows Insiders to test the operating system on a number of selected devices.

Windows 10 was formally unveiled in January with the bold intention of unifying PC, tablets and smartphones with a common operating system.

A technical preview for PCs has been available since last year and the commercial release will be a free update for Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1.

Windows 10 technical preview

windows 10 start screenMicrosoft says only devices that can be downgraded to Windows Phone 8.1 in the event of any major problems will be included in the programme.  The build can only be downloaded onto the Lumia 630, 635, 636, 638, 730 and 830 at present, but more handsets will be added in the future.

It says that although no devices have been bricked during testing, it wants users to be aware of the risks of downloading the preview and admits some features are less than complete at this stage.

A list of known errors has been posted on the Windows Blog, but Microsoft is inviting participants to offer feedback using a specific application. Users will receive new builds right up until the final release.

“You will encounter bugs. You will see experiences that are clearly just not done yet, and UX that lacks polish at this point,” said Gabe Aul, engineering general manager at Microsoft. “DON’T WORRY! It will improve as we go and new features, stability and performance improvements, and more polished UX will come at each step.”

The preview should work in all countries, with the notable exception China, although some features are limited to certain regions for the time being. This includes voice-activated personal assistant Cortana which only works in the US in English.

So far, Microsoft has received 800,000 pieces of feedback from 1.7 million Windows Insiders, resulting in the “largest-ever open collaborative development effort Microsoft has ever shipped.”

More details about Windows 10 are expected to be revealed at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona next month.

 How much do you know about Microsoft’s Windows Phone? Take our quiz here!

Microsoft Launches Windows 10

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