Microsoft has delivered the latest preview build of the upcoming Windows 10 operating system, following an event last week at which the firm uncovered more details of what users will see when the platform launches.
The January build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview was made available late on Friday, and was officially announced in a posting on the Windows blog by Gabe Aul, Microsoft's head of the Windows Insider programme.
As with the original Technical Preview released last October, the code is available only to testers on the Windows Insider programme. Microsoft also rolled out this release earlier than expected, as it had promised the update sometime this week.
Aul explained that, while many new features are available in this release, identified as build 9926, not everything that Microsoft demonstrated at last week's event is included.
"Much is still in-progress and we're getting it out to you as fast as we can so you can try it out and give us feedback. Over the course of the next few builds, you will see us refine Windows 10 and continue to improve the experience as well as quality and stability," he said.
What testers will see is Microsoft's Cortana personal assistant now integrated as part of the desktop, the Continuum feature that optimises the user interface for whether a device has a keyboard attached or is being used as a slate-mode tablet, a new Settings app, and numerous user interface tweaks.
Testers can also try out the Xbox app for the first time, and will see a beta of an overhauled Windows Store, plus new Photos and Maps apps.
This version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview is only for PCs, but next month the firm will offer a build of Windows 10 Technical Preview for smartphones for the first time.
This is likely to be made available to testers who already have a Windows Phone, and is expected to offer a similar experience to the desktop version of Windows, but with a user interface adapted for smaller screens.
However, in a post on Microsoft's Lumia Conversations blog, Chris Weber, corporate vice president of sales for the Mobile Devices group, warned that not all devices would be able to upgrade to Windows 10.
"Windows 10 has been designed to run well on today's Lumia phones. Like any upgrade to a new platform, not every phone will upgrade or support all possible Windows 10 features, and certain features and experiences will require more advanced future hardware," he said.
Microsoft's goal is for "the majority of the Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 to join the Windows ecosystem", he added.
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