This week Microsoft launched its early build of its next desktop operating system, Windows 10. This is a program for enthusiasts, developers, and IT pros. If you fall into that camp, here’s a look at how to joining the Windows Insider program to start trying out the future of Windows.
You can install it on a physical PC or in a virtual machine, but I recommend the former, so you’re able to test everything out on an actual physical computer, and evaluate drivers, battery life, Wi-Fi, etc.
It’s also worth noting that there are two preview versions available, the Technical Preview and the Technical Preview for Enterprise. The latter has business features like Windows To Go, AppLocker, and other features for business. Unless you’re an IT pro or just an uber-geek, you just need the regular version.
Windows 10 Technical Preview
If your test computer is already running Windows 8.1, you should be fine using it with Windows 10 tech preview.
Of course, you can always check your system’s compatibility by running the Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant.
Here’s a list of Microsoft’s minimum specs:
• Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
• RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
• Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
• Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
To download Windows 10 Technical Preview, you will need to join the Windows Insider Program. Just log in with your Windows Account and you’ll be ready to start testing the new OS.
Once you download the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO, stick it on a DVD or USB drive and start the install. Installing it is simple – essentially the same as installing Windows 8.1, just follow the onscreen instructions.
In this example, I installed it on a computer already running Windows 8.1 update 1, and here’s a few of the highlight screens. Also, remember your computer will restart a few times during the installation.
Getting ready to install and upgrade Windows 8.1 to 10.
Of course, you will need to agree to the EULA.
Decide if you want to keep your setting, files and apps. For my testing purposes, I kept everything to see how it would go. After Windows 10 was installed and ready to use, all of my files were there, as well as my apps and programs, and they all worked just fine – so far anyway.
Windows 10 Technical Preview is installing.
You’ll see a lot of the same messages you do while Windows 8.1 is installing, like the example here.
The amount of time it takes to install will vary for everyone. In my case I think it took around 45 minutes to complete.
When complete, you’re ready to go! Dive in and start testing out all of the new features. And if you find something that doesn’t work, or you would like to see changed, definitely send Microsoft your feedback.
You can leave feedback by clicking the Start menu and then the Windows Feedback tile on the right side. If you find that you send Microsoft a lot of feedback, you might want to pin the tile to the Taskbar for easier access.
For more on getting started with Windows 10 Technical Preview, check out Microsoft’s Getting Started page. If you’re a Windows Phone user, the company has a preview program for that, too. Read: How to Join the Windows Mobile Insider Program.
For even more in-depth news and conversation about Windows 10, make sure to sign up for our newly created Windows10Forums. We will have all sorts of great news and input from the staff here and our groovyPost community!
What is your opinion of Windows 10 Technical Preview? Have you tried it out yet? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.