Microsoft's Windows 10 Technical Preview 'January' Build Now Available

Just days after Microsoft showcased a huge number of cool new features that will be provided in Windows 10, Microsoft has unleashed the January build for the Windows Insider Program. This build is version 9926, for those keeping track, and it offers several services that were revealed to the public on Wednesday. Unfortunately, not everything shown during the press briefing is available in this particular build.

"The gap between 9879 and 9926 is the longest you should expect to see with the program, because of the holidays and the need to add and stabilize feature payloads," said Microsoft's Gabe Aul. "We'll get new builds out faster moving forward – thank you for being patient with us."

For those unwilling to wait for Windows 10 Technical Preview to download the new build on its own, Insiders can open up the PC Settings app, click "Update and Recovery," then "Preview Builds." The "Download Now" button should be available. At press time, we're still waiting for the update to download, but we expect the file to weigh in around 3 GB.

So what's new with Build 9926? We'll finally see Cortana on the desktop, as well as a new Start Menu, a new Settings app, and better connectivity to wireless audio and video devices. There's also new Photos and Maps apps, the new Xbox app and a brand new standalone Windows Store "Beta" that will work alongside the Windows Store that's already baked into Windows.

"Sorry it's confusing to have two, but we wanted to give you an early preview of the new Windows Store," Aul said. "It includes a new visual design which will be common across PCs, tablets, phones and the web. It works well within a window and can be updated independently from the OS (this matters because it allows for more frequent updates). Keep in mind this is a preview."

Aul also pointed out that this build features changes that are based on the Insider Program feedback. For instance, support for additional languages has been added, along with a progress bar so that Insiders can see how long it will be until the new preview build has fully downloaded (currently, we only have a spinning circle). Other feedback-based changes include fixing the keyboard lights when Caps Lock/Num Lock/Scroll is toggled, the ability to pick a default folder when opening File Explorer, and more.

Aul also listed several known problems with Build 9926. For starters, the battery icon will appear on the lock screen even if the PC doesn't have a battery. Start Menu tiles now show "truncated" names, and devices such as the Surface Pro 3 may have a reduced battery life. Cortana also has a problem with basic and complex reminders, and the music app will disappear if minimized within 16 seconds after it's launched.

Finally, Aul's update said that the Windows Insider Program will be extended to phones next month. More details regarding that release will be provided soon. In the meantime, Microsoft has provided a "sneak peek" video that shows what is new in this particular build, which is embedded below.

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  • yanta
    OMG What an unmitigated disaster of a OS.

    As the Madden Bothers said "We are done!"

    I will be uninstalling the TP and putting linux back on my test PC.

    IT would take me 100's of lines to describe the issues with the new build, and all it really shows is that this IS JUST WINDOWS 8.

    I'll tell you one thing, I uninstalled as many modern apps as I could and removed all live tiles from the hybrid-start-menu and now I have a blank panel taking up 1/3 of my screen that can't be re-sized.

    Bye Bye Windows.
  • apache_lives
    Yanta stop threatening to go back to linux and just go back do us all a favour, iv been hearing this bs for years your comment is so 2000
  • a1r
    So, what you're saying is... it's testing quality software. Anyone expecting it to NOT look like 8.1 was deluding themselves as Microsoft has repeatedly said they are not abandoning the GUI changes made in 8.1. Anyone expecting a 'technical preview' to be production quality is pretty naive.

    The real questions aren't what the desktop looks like, but whether they actually addressed any of the *many* problems with performance Windows NT has gained over the 20 years of existence. Apparently they still think marketing should be in charge of development, as they keep heaping on features rather than addressing fundamentals like drive access performance, raw compute performance, multitasking issues related to DirectX programs not playing nice especially on crash *looks at Bethesda*. About the only thing Windows does well performance wise is graphics rendering! That will only be quantified when non-debugging builds become available for performance testing to the public at large
  • perpetual98
    Can you update a technical preview, or does this require a full wipe/reinstall?
  • Fierce Guppy
    The charms bar is gone! Good! That stuff is now accessible from one of the default "Places" in the Start menu. No bangs are shown in devices manager. This update automatically discovered the HP printer I had connected wirelessly and had the drivers and software installed before I even realised it. Pretty damn swank... I generally like how this Windows version is turning out.

    Two things I don't like. 1) The Windows Update icon is no longer in the Control Panel. It's accessible under Settings-->"Update & Recovery" in the *tablet* style control panel . I only need *one* control where all settings should be accessible.
    2)The Windows Update site displays a big user friendly install button when updates are available but does not list the updates until the user clicks the button which is really the wrong way to go about it. I want to see the updates first.
  • USAFRet
    15131810 said:
    Can you update a technical preview, or does this require a full wipe/reinstall?

    No, it is just an 'update'. Mine is doing it right now.
  • turkey3_scratch
    Time to update my preview!
  • Innocent_Bystander
    No, it is just an 'update'. Mine is doing it right now.

    Correct, with the small addition that you have to sign up for the Windows Insider program and download a small, 10MB file. (not the ISO). Once you run it, it'll ask you to restart your system and it will automatically open Windows Update and find the 2.8GB install file. From then on it's just a matter of following the instructions on the screen to upgrade an existing installation.

    Win 8 and Win 7 are upgradeable, Vista needs a wipe and reinstall.

    Hope this helps.
  • Herrington
    Finally time to update my win 10.
    Good riddance Win7, thx for your battery hogging feature.
  • TechyInAZ
    Just installed windows 10 preview on a VM. It does need a LOT of work (especially Cortana), but it isn't to bad, defiantly better than windows 8. The interface is a bit odd, but it just takes some getting used to.

    Overall, it's taking shape but like the devs said it's gona be a while before win 10 because fully developed.