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Windows 10 Technical Preview Now Available for Select Lumia Phones

As promised in January during a special Windows 10 event, Microsoft has finally released the Technical Preview build of Windows 10 for smartphones. Microsoft's Gabriel Aul took to Twitter to announce the release on Thursday, reporting that additional information regarding the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones will be made available in the near future.

But don't get too excited just yet. As of this article, Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones is limited to six Lumia devices: 630, 635, 636, 638, 730 and 830. Don't see your phone listed here? Grab the Windows Insider app and you'll be notified when the preview is ready to be downloaded and installed. Potential testers will need to be enrolled in the Windows Insider program to toy around with Windows 10 for phones.

"Some phones, regions, and mobile operators might not support Technical Preview," Microsoft stated (opens in new tab). "If your phone isn't listed, and no preview builds appear under Enroll in the Windows Insider app, then your phone isn't supported and it may or may not be supported in the future."

Like Windows 10 Technical Preview for desktops, phone testers will see a special Windows Feedback app that allows them to respond to questions regarding the build and to report any problems that may arise. Given that Windows 10 Technical Preview is a work in progress, problems are expected, so keep that Feedback app busy. Remember, feedback is what will help shape the final product that is expected to arrive this summer.

"You will likely feel like this first preview build for phones seems 'less complete' or 'earlier' than the PC," Aul wrote in the latest Windows blog. "That's true—it is. Although Windows 10 is built on shared code that runs on both PCs and phones, keep in mind that Windows 8.1 for PC was finished months earlier than Windows Phone 8.1, so the PC build has had more bake time."

Aul's update said that Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones will include interactive notifications, additional quick actions in the Action Center (up to three rows instead of the mere four apps as seen in Windows 8.1), better speech-to-text capability, a better Photos app and the ability to display a full-size background image on the Start screen.

Aul also listed several known issues that have crept into Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones. For instance, users will not see existing alarms migrated to Windows 10, nor will they see apps displayed in Battery saver mode. Video playback will be sluggish when using a Bluetooth headset, and syncing to Microsoft Band will not work after updating to the newer Technical Preview build.

So why the short list of phones? Why aren't more devices currently supported? According to Aul, Microsoft wants users to have a way to revert their Windows phone back to its original state if something goes wrong after upgrading to Windows 10 Technical Preview. The current list of phones has recovery images that are available to download.

"We created a new tool called the Windows Phone Recovery Tool that will restore that image if necessary," he said. "We haven't bricked a single phone during all of our internal testing, but it is not impossible, so you should be aware that there is some potential risk for you. In addition, bugs could prevent access to important features for you, including phone dialing and other core functionality."

To get into the Windows Insider program, head here.

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  • hst101rox
    How much space does it take up?
  • vider
    What do all these phones have in common? They all share the new Snapdragon architecture. What does that mean? Nokia Lumia without this architecture can't run the power hungry windows phone 10 OS. Well done MS! ! Thank you for sticking it up for the little guy and ditching him in the dust!! ^^,
  • ryandsouza
    Its only the preview that is limited to these phones. When it launches for good, it should be supported on all Windows phone 8 models... at least that's what MS had said
  • alextheblue
    What do all these phones have in common? They all share the new Snapdragon architecture. What does that mean? Nokia Lumia without this architecture can't run the power hungry windows phone 10 OS. Well done MS! ! Thank you for sticking it up for the little guy and ditching him in the dust!! ^^,

    Wow you're completely wrong. Did you even read the article? It says why they chose these phones to be in the initial batch. Those phones don't have high-powered SoCs there, genius. WP is very light and fast. Snapdragon 200 is a low-end chip and it runs 8.1 and 10 incredibly well! WP has always been very snappy even on slow hardware, but I guess you wouldn't have any way of knowing that. :/

    Anyway, barring interference by carriers, all the Lumias that can run 8.1 will be able to run 10. MS wants them all on 10, but final say is up to the carriers and carriers like selling new devices... so we'll see.
  • falchard
    Hmmm, so... I have a Nokia 635, I don't use it for anything important, my carrier is cool with it, and I don't really care if it bricks.
    Download begin.
  • mcd023
    I'm just going to post what I've read on reddit as to why. The OS requires a dedicated partition of a certain amount of space. These phones as configured by the carrier specs, have enough spec dedicated to do the upgrade operation. MS is working on making the upgrade for phones that doesn't have that dedicated space (or not as much). It's not a limitation as much as a safety net.
  • MagusALL
    So will/will not my 928 get the upgrade?
  • falchard
    Don't really notice any HUGE difference. Personally I use a black background with orange accent color. I prefer it than having a scrolling picture background. Other than that the other upgrade is to the notifications center which I barely use.