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Windows 10 Mobile Coming Later This Year; New Preview Build Has Office, Xbox Apps

Microsoft Insider lead Gabe Aul updated the official Windows blog with news that the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build for phones is now available to download. The big deal with this release, Build 10080, is that it provides insiders with a handful of new apps such as the universal Office apps, the Xbox app and more. This release is being distributed to the "Fast" ring now.

For starters, Microsoft has introduced to mobile users the Windows Store Beta. This is separate from the current Windows Store app, and follows the desktop release that was included in Windows 10 Technical Preview months ago. Both are based on Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform code and looks different (albeit better) in the way it presents apps and media.

The new Windows Store beta now provides sections for movies, TV shows and music. Aul said that the Movies & TV section is functional, but the Music page, like its desktop counterpart, does not offer any content at this time, but will be offered soon.

However, although Microsoft mentioned carrier billing during BUILD 2015, that feature has yet to be enabled on the phone. Customers wanting to purchase apps and media can do so by way of PayPal, gift cards and international credit cards.

In addition to the Windows Store Beta app, Microsoft has also added the Xbox app in the Windows Store Beta. This app allows users to view their Xbox profile from their phone, such as messages, achievements, activity alerts and more. Microsoft has also added the Universal Office apps in the Store Beta, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for creating and editing documents on the go.

Music Preview and Video Preview apps are also new to the Windows 10 Mobile build. With the music Preview app, customers can access their music easily on both the phone and in the cloud (OneDrive). The Video Preview app enables customers to browse and play video files on their phone, including MKV files and purchases made from Xbox Video.

Finally, Microsoft has added a new Camera app and is asking users for feedback. To make this the default app for the camera, go to Settings, then System, then Photos & Camera. Unfortunately, some of the features will not be compatible with some Lumia phones including the 640 XL, 640, 830, 930, 1020 and 1520. The new Camera app will work to some degree on these devices, but customers are advised to use the Lumia Camera app instead.

So is Windows 10 Mobile launching alongside Windows 10 for the desktop this summer? No.

"Because we're treating Windows more like a service, this allows us to release Windows 10 on different devices and customers at different times," Aul said in the blog. "For phones, Windows 10 will arrive later this year – both on new devices and also upgrades for existing Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Even though Windows 10 will be arriving for phones later than it does for PCs, the underlying OS code is still the same."

Aul also said that this build of Windows 10 Mobile supports the Lumia 930/Lumia Icon, the Lumia 640 and 640 XL, and the HTC One (M8) for Windows.

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