Microsoft's Windows 10 is now available to download, though it is only a "technical preview".
The company promised when it unveiled Windows 10 that it would launch a technical preview of the unfinished software the following day at no cost, and now that day has come. If you’re a developer, or maybe just daring, you can download it now. Keep in mind Microsoft stressed the preview is a very early build of the final version expected to launch in mid-2015.
In other words, the software likely has many bugs and could crash your computer. It should therefore not be installed on a computer used for day-to-day purposes. That said, if you’re a developer, IT professional, or just tech savvy, the preview is definitely worth checking out. But be sure to browse through Pocket-lint's tips below before getting started.
Getting started with Microsoft Windows 10 Technical Preview
Should you download the technical preview?
Microsoft has listed a bunch of criteria, which you should review before downloading and installing, as it establishes whether you're an ideal candidate to test the technical preview.
- Want to try out software that’s still in development and like sharing your opinion about it
- Don’t mind lots of updates or a UI design that might change significantly over time
- Really know your way around a PC and feel comfortable troubleshooting problems, backing up data, formatting a hard drive, installing an operating system from scratch, or restoring your old one if necessary
- Know what an ISO file is and how to use it
- Aren’t installing it on your everyday computer
Does your computer meet the minimum requirements?
Before downloading, better double-check to make sure your computer has a 1GHz or faster processor, at least 1 GB of 32-bit RAM or 2GB of 64-bit RAM, 16 GB of free hard disk space, and a Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver.
More information about technical requirements is available here. Take note that the technical preview won't run on Windows RT systems.
How do you download and install the technical preview?
1. Create or make sure you have a Microsoft account as well as internet access.
2. Prior to downloading anything, back up your data.
3. Join the Windows Insider Program.
4. Visit the official Technical Preview page to download the preview.
- You will see the following download options:
- Windows 10 Technical Preview x86 (2.9GB)
- Windows 10 Technical Preview x64 (3.8GB)
5. Save your Windows 10 Technical Preview product key, provided by Microsoft.
6. After the download completes, copy the ISO file to an installation media (DVD, USB drive, etc).
7. From the installation media, double click on setup.exe and then follow the on-screen instructions.
Those of you who don't feel comfortable downloading and installing the technical preview on your personal computer can always run it in a virtual environment instead. Example programs that'll let you do that include VMware, Parallels, VirtualBox, etc.
Want to know more?
Check out Microsoft's Before you install page and How to use Technical Preview page for more information. You can also visit the Windows Technical Preview forum if you run into issues or have any questions.