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It’s here: Windows 10 for phones is ready for the public to preview. Microsoft announced that it was pushing the beta OS to intrepid testers through its Windows Insider program on Thursday.
To download the new technical preview, you’ll need to grab it through the Windows Insider app after signing up for the Windows Insider preview program. You’ll also need an eligible Windows Phone. Once you’re signed up, you’ll receive new builds as over-the-air updates. Here’s the full list from Microsoft:
- Lumia 630
- Lumia 635
- Lumia 636
- Lumia 638
- Lumia 730
- Lumia 830
You might notice that this list of devices does not include many of the high-end devices that run Windows Phone, including the 900 series and HTC’s One M8 with Windows Phone.
Update 2:30 ET: Good luck if you’re trying to install the update. Many power users and Microsoft journalists are furiously complaining on Twitter that even devices that are supported may not be able to pull down the update, as well as various other installation issues. If you’re having trouble getting the update to show up, try reinstalling the Windows Insider app. Our own Kevin Tofel has successfully installed the preview on a Lumia 830, but he reports that it’s a slow process.
However, a French language page briefly listed HTC’s Windows Phones as among the devices can grab the preview, so availability might differ by country in the future.
The Technical Preview is a close cousin to the version of Windows 10 for phones that Microsoft previewed at its big consumer-oriented summit last month. Bigger changes expected for Windows 10 on mobile devices include a revamped notification center that syncs with desktops running Windows 10, Skype integration with the its text messaging app and Microsoft’s new Spartan browser, although some of Microsoft’s promised features (like the new browser) might not be available in this build. There should also be a host of subtle interface tweaks that should improve the user experience. Here’s a Microsoft blog post about what to look for in the technical preview.
The Windows 10 technical preview for desktops has been available through Windows Insider since last fall.
Keep in mind that you probably shouldn’t install this on your main phone. It’s a very early beta version and there’s sure to be bugs. So get your spare Lumias out and charged — Microsoft appreciates your willingness to test its pre-release software: