Windows 10 for phones technical preview lands; still “very much under development”

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Microsoft has released its first Windows 10 for phones technical preview and made it accessible to all those who have joined Windows Insiders program and are in possession of one of the select few devices that are currently supported.

Microsoft warned that Windows 10 for phones is still “very much under development” and that users will see some rough edges, but considering that it is a technical preview this wasn’t unexpected.

“Think this way: we’re setting up the mechanism today and we’ll be delivering new features and new devices to it over the next few months”, tweeted Joe Belfiore, VP of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group laying out Microsoft’s plans as far as Windows 10 for phone goes. Unlike previous Windows Phone OS releases, Microsoft is going ahead with a much wider initial release enabling users to get their hands dirty and get the most out of their existing handsets.

“We’re sharing it with you so you can be with us at every step, and provide your feedback to help make this the best release ever-because it’s the one made for you”, said Microsoft’s Engineering General Manager, Gabriel Aul, in a blog post.

What’s there in Windows 10 for Phones Technical Preview

Microsoft has said that the first early release Windows 10 for Phones Technical Preview packs some old and familiar features that have been fine tuned and some great new capabilities. Some of these include:

  • Ability to set full-size background image for start enabling users to personalise their phones to a great extent.
  • Increased number of Quick Actions in Action Center.
  • Windows 10 for phones now includes Interactive Notifications that will enable you to take actions right then and there without having to dig deeper in the related app or settings options. For example, for text messages, when the toast pops, you can quickly reply inline via text or voice.
  • Windows 10 for Phones also packs a significantly enhanced speech-to-text capability that will allow you to talk to virtually any data field you choose.
  • Also, there is a more powerful Photos app that will show the aggregated set of all your local photos and all your OneDrive photos

What’s Next?

Beyond the existing features, Microsoft has already revealed a few features that will be incorporated in Windows 10 for Phones in subsequent releases. Redmond will be incorporating some great features into new universal apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, which work across phones, tablets, and PCs running Windows 10.

Further, future builds will also include the new Mail and Calendar Universal Apps from the Outlook team in Office, as well as IP-based messaging from Skype and others, integrated directly into Messaging experience.

How to get it?

  • First and foremost requirement is that you join the Windows Insider Program.
  • There you need to register your device to receive builds as over the air updates. Make sure you have a Wi-Fi connection when you attempt to download the preview builds.
  • You will be receiving the builds automatically as they are ready, after being validated by engineers at Microsoft and used on their own phones.
  • If you are stuck at some place because of a malfunctioning app or want to give your feedback, you can do so by using the built-in Windows Feedback app to send us problem reports and suggestions.
  • You will keep on receiving updates all the way up to the final build that goes out to all customers
  • In case you are not happy, you can always roll your phone back to the previous OS any time you’d like.