Want to try a pre-release version of Windows 10 on your notebook, desktop, or tablet with an x86 processor? Microsoft has been offering free preview builds for months.

Want to try it on a smartphone? Now you can… maybe.

Microsoft has released the first build of Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones, and it supports several of the company’s recent Lumia phones.

windows 10 for mobile

In order to try out the software you’ll need a Lumia 630, 635, 636, 638, 730, or 830 smartphone and you’ll need to join the Windows Insider Program. You’ll then need to register to receive the technical preview builds and they’ll roll out to your device as over-the-air updates, much like a normal OS update.

While Windows 10 for mobile is also expected to run on tablets with ARM-based chips, right now the preview is only available for a handful of phones.

In case the name didn’t make it clear, this is a preview version of Windows rather than a stable release: so it’s possible you’ll find bugs or unfinished, unpolished parts of the operating system. Microsoft plans to continue pushing out updates to resolve any issues that are found, but there’s also a built-in feedback tool which you can use to let Microsoft know what you think of things so far.

There’s also a new Windows Phone Recovery Tool that lets you backup your device and restore Windows 8.1 if anything goes wrong while you’re testing Windows 10.

Among other things, Windows 10 for mobile adds a few new features that weren’t available in Windows Phone 8.1 including full-sized background images for the start screen, additional quick actions for the action center, support for interacting with some notifications, and better speech-to-text support.

Microsoft has also updated the Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps.

Windows 10 for mobile shares code with Windows 10 for PCs… but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to run desktop apps. This is a smartphone version of the operating system that’s been optimized for touchscreen displays and ARM-based processors. But it’ll support universal Windows apps designed to run across a range of devices including phones, tablets, notebooks, and even Xbox consoles.

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8 replies on “Windows 10 Technical Preview now available for (some) phones”

  1. I hope Windows 10 x86 will be as good for touch users as Windows 10 for phones is supposed to be. Windows Phone 8.1 blows Windows 8.1 x86 out of the water as far as user Interface and usability for touch goes. I dont understand why couldnt they make right with Modern interface for x86 the first time.

  2. Put it on my 630 yesterday, but it has too many problems right now. Battery life was awful, everything was super slow, apps crashing, ect. Went back to 8.1 last night. There are some nice new features I’ll be looking forward to though, once it reaches RTM.

  3. All i want to know is, will Win10 come to the Lumia 1020, being a DualCore it seems less powerful than even entry level stuff like the 535, but i would get it for the camera if it got win10

    1. Never compare different architectures by clock and number of cores only. Actually the dual core in 1020 is faster then the quad one in 535.

      1. It has higher peak performance in single core tasks, as the Cortex A15 has 2-3 times the performacen of an A7, and the KRAIT is at roughly 1.5 to 2 times the speed of an A7 depending on task, but there are only 2 of them instead of 4 and i fear that with the UI, backgroud tasks, cortana…. just 2 cores won’t cut it, ESPECIALLY since 120 bucks entry level phones come with quadcores and so may need them as a baseline.

        Also, the Adreno 302 is roughly on par with the 225 in terms of GFLOPS performance.

  4. It’s not just possible that you’ll run into bugs, issues and things that just aren’t there. There’s a 100% chance will run into those things. It is functional and neat to see how it is coming along, but it is not something a normal person should install.

  5. Do I want to try W10 on my notebook? Nope.
    Do I want to try W10 on my phone? Not really.
    But this is kind of interesting:
    “Windows 10 for mobile shares code with Windows 10 for PCs…”
    I’m not so sure if that’s a good thing to begin with, but ummkay I guess. 🙂

    1. That’s okay, it’ll just be of interest to the hundreds of millions of people who do use Windows on their notebooks.

      I’m confused by your statement – of course code reuse/sharing is a good thing. Nor is this anything strange or unusual anyway. Windows already shares the same kernel between Windows 8 and Windows Phones. The Linux kernel is used in both billions of Android phones, as well as Linux PCs (and Chromebooks, e-readers, and TVs, etc). Apple use the same kernel in IOS and OS X.

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