When Microsoft outlined the next generation of its software endeavors during the fall of last year, we learned that the company would be skipping the as-rumored ‘Windows 9’ moniker altogether, jumping straight ahead to Windows 10. A few weeks back, we got our second glance at what’s next as far as Windows is concerned, and with the software giant touting simplicity and harmony across all of its existing platforms, the current Windows Phone naming will be dropped in favor of Windows 10 for phones. Now, a preview version of Windows 10 for phones has been rolled out by the Xbox maker, and below, we have further info as well as download information.

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First and foremost, we should point out that the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones is limited in terms of supported devices. To clarify, you’ll need to be in ownership in one of the following handsets if you would like to test it out:

  • Lumia 630
  • Lumia 635
  • Lumia 636
  • Lumia 638
  • Lumia 730
  • Lumia 830

With so many high-end Lumia handsets on the market, those rocking, say, a Lumia 925 or the 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 may be disheartened by the lack of support. But Microsoft has explained why Windows 10 for phones isn’t available for high-end hardware yet:

The majority of Lumia phones, from our most advanced to the most affordable, can be upgraded to Windows 10. That said, for this technical preview, we need to start with a small subset of devices in order to isolate OS issues from hardware or board support package issues so we can stabilize the platform. 

Microsoft further adds:

“We have a feature that will be coming soon called “partition stitching” which will allow us to adjust the OS partition dynamically to create room for the install process to be able to update the OS in-place. Until this comes in, we needed devices which were configured by mobile operators with sufficiently sized OS partitions to allow the in-place upgrade, and many of the bigger phones have very tight OS partitions. Note that this doesn’t mean that Windows 10 will take more disk space than Windows Phone 8.1, it’s just a function of the upgrade process at this point. Once the partition stitching feature is completed, many more devices will be supported.”

With that said, there’s still a broad range covered here, and as we edge closer to the public release over the coming months, Microsoft will surely broaden the Technical Preview’s horizons.

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Getting started with the Technical Preview isn’t particularly difficult either. To make things nice and easy, here are the steps you need to follow in order to get going.

Step 1: Firstly, you’ll need to join up to the Windows Insider Program – insider.windows.com.

Step 2: Next, register your device, and once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to receive OTA updates of Windows 10 for phones as the Technical Previews progress.

Step 3: Download and install the Windows Insider app on your Lumia smartphone to grab the Technical Preview build and install it on your device. Be sure you’re already running Windows Phone 8.1 otherwise the whole Windows 10 magic won’t happen.

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Here’s a video demo by Microsoft showing off what the new Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones brings with it:

The important thing to note here, is that by signing up and testing the software, you’re not signing your life away. You can revert at any moment if you don’t wish to participate, and so if you’re intrigued by the Windows 10 movement, be sure to give the Technical Preview a whirl.

We’ll be doing likewise, and will follow this article up with our analysis and initial thoughts, so stay tuned!

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