Microsoft not only just revealed a very early build of Windows 10 but also announced when and how you can get your hands on it
Windows 10 is the next version of Microsoft's Windows operating system. It's meant to undo a lot of the messy bits that both critics and users didn't like about Windows 8, while also bringing back some Windows 7 elements and keeping touch alive for two-in-one devices.
And that's not all: Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be a one-application platform, meaning one app store, one way for people to find and buy apps, and one method for updating across all devices. In other words, Microsoft has a lot to accomplish with Windows 10.
But the best part is eager fans who want to get a taste of Windows 10 won't have to wait until 2015. Keep reading if you'd like to learn more.
Why is Windows 10 not called Windows 9?
Although the last major version of Windows is called Windows 8, it's not yet clear why Microsoft chose to use the Windows 10 brand over Windows 9 when coming up with a name for its next major version of Windows.
That said, during a media event in San Francisco on 30 September, Microsoft said it didn't use Windows 9 because it "wouldn't be right". The company also didn't want to go with Windows One, mostly because it already used the "One" brand for other products.
What does Windows 10 feature?
Microsoft introduced a lot of drastic changes and new features to Windows with Windows 10.
Check out Pocket-lint round up for a list of everything that's different and notable.
When will we see Windows 10 for consumers?
Microsoft emphasised that it's 30 September event was an attempt to start an early discussion with enterprises about the next version of Windows. The company clarified that people can expect Microsoft to talk "much more about the consumer story" in early 2015.
When does Windows 10 officially release?
Microsoft confirmed it will ship Windows 10 to consumers in 2015 - though "later in the year".
During a Q&A session after the event in San Francisco, Microsoft elaborated on when exactly Windows 10 would officially release for consumers. It said Windows 10 would ship "mid next year" - and definitely "after the Build conference".
When does the Technical Preview release?
Reports have long claimed Microsoft would introduce a "Technical Preview" of Windows 10 this autumn. And they were right.
Microsoft announced the Windows Insider Program at its event in San Francisco. The program will only allow PC experts and IT Pros to get access to a technical preview of Windows 10 for desktops and laptops.
"With the Insider program, we’re inviting our most enthusiastic Windows customers to shape Windows 10 with us. We know they’re a vocal bunch – and we’re looking forward to hearing from them," Microsoft explained through a blog post.
Microsoft will also soon release technical previews of Windows Server and management tools.
How can you access the Technical Preview?
The Windows Insider Program will launch on 1 October, and you can join the program through Microsoft's Windows Technical preview page.
"The Windows Insider Program is intended for PC experts and IT pros who are comfortable using pre-release software with variable quality. Insiders will receive a steady stream of early builds from us with the latest features we’re experimenting with," Microsoft warned.
Anyone who wants to join the Windows Insider Program must first sign up. They will then be able to download the technical preview and submit feedback to Microsoft. The company said it would give more specific details about the program and how to join when it launches.