As promised, Microsoft has just released the first Technical Preview of Windows 10 for phones. If you're keen to give it a try, here's what you'll need to know.
To install the test build, you'll need one of the following phone models:
- Lumia 630
- Lumia 635
- Lumia 636
- Lumia 638
- Lumia 730
- Lumia 830
High-end Windows Phone models such as the 1520 aren't included on the list. Microsoft says that's because it needs to ensure that a recovery image can be installed on the device (so you can roll back to an earlier version), and that's trickier on high-end phones, which often have a restricted OS partition.
Assuming your phone qualifies, you need to sign up for the Windows Insider program and register your device. Once that happens, builds and updates will be automatically delivered.
While the ultimate goal is that Windows 10 will be largely the same code base on PCs, tablets and phones, right now the phone build has rather fewer features than its desktop counterpart, which has been in active public testing since October last year. Microsoft says that's largely a function of timing. "Windows 8.1 for PC was finished months earlier than Windows Phone 8.1, so the PC build has had more bake time," the announcement blog post notes. That discontinuity is likely to continue:
Since it is a shared codebase, you should expect that builds for PCs, tablets and phones will be generally timed to come out at the same time, but they may not always be the same day or same build number, since sometimes a bug will affect one but not the other and we may take another build to fix it.
Hit the announcement post for more details, including a list of the known bugs. Of these, potentially the most limiting is the fact that VPN functionality doesn't work in this build, and that Cortana has reverted to its US English-only mode, echoing what's happening in the desktop release.