Microsoft Windows 10 Preview For Phones Is Released - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Mobile // Mobile Applications
05:36 PM
Connect Directly

Microsoft Windows 10 Preview For Phones Is Released

Microsoft is rolling out the first public preview of Windows 10 for mobile to Windows Insiders, but not all devices are eligible.

Microsoft had hinted that the mobile build of its new Windows 10 operating system would be available for preview in February. After releasing the desktop preview a few weeks ago, it's delivering on its promise to (some) mobile users. 

The Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones is now available for select Windows Insiders to test on Windows Phones and provide feedback. Those who are willing to handle a few bugs can download the first preview build, but only a few phones are eligible. They include:

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

In a blog post detailing the announcement, Microsoft admits that this is the earliest public preview it has launched for Windows on smartphones and that this version is still rough around the edges. It will feel less complete than the desktop build of Windows 10, and users can expect to see bugs. Right now, it's not available on higher-end phones due to a partitioning issue in the upgrade process.  

[Windows 10: 9 Killer Features]

For those who cannot download the build or fear damaging their phones, here are a few of the features that are available in the preview released today:

  • Interactive notifications: Take direct action while addressing notifications such as alarms or text messages, which users can reply to, in-line, with text or voice.
  • Full-size background image for Start: Customize the start screen with a full-size background image.
  • Better speech-to-text capability: In talking to virtually any data field, words show up as they are spoken and punctuation automatically appears. The feature can even differentiate between "two" and "too."
  • More Quick Actions in Action Center: Windows Phone 8.1 has four programmable Quick Actions, but Windows 10 features an expanded view that can accommodate up to three rows.
  • Improved Photos app: Upon first launch, Photos will display an aggregated collection of local and OneDrive photos.

(Image source: Microsoft)
(Image source: Microsoft)

For those planning to download the preview, there are a few larger problems to watch for. In this build, Cortana is limited to US-only and English-only. Existing alarms will not migrate to the new OS, and WiFi settings will not roam. Apps are not displayed in battery saver, and it may take a few attempts to attach photos to email, OneNote, and Facebook via the Photos app. The build will not sync to Microsoft Band, and trying to set a lock screen picture will fail periodically.

Testers feeling apprehensive should note that Microsoft wanted to ensure that anyone who tried this early build could get back to their old OS if something goes wrong. This is why the preview is only available on phones that have a recovery image available. If necessary, the new Windows Phone Recovery Tool will restore that image.

Microsoft also adds that future builds of the OS will include new features in the universal apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint running across phones, tablets, and PCs on Windows 10. Upcoming versions will also have new Mail and Calendar apps for Outlook and IP-based messaging from Skype and other services. Going forward, support for additional phones will be available for each new build.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2015 | 4:52:47 AM
Public Review
I think Microsoft would not be expecting much from this public review as the number of nokia users are not huge in numbers and also the selecting few devices from the range and how many of them would be willing to download the new OS, this will further reduce the public review.
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
Graph-Based AI Enters the Enterprise Mainstream
James Kobielus, Tech Analyst, Consultant and Author,  2/16/2021
What Comes Next for AWS with Jassy to Become Amazon CEO
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/4/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll