Curious about Microsoft’s next OS? You can try it for yourself right now.
Windows 10 is not due for consumer/retail release until well into 2015, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get comfortable with the new operating system right now.
As promised during yesterday’s Future of Windows presentation, the Windows 10 Technical Preview is now available as a free download. The process is simple, and only requires you to have some sort of Microsoft account (which you already have, if you use Xbox Live).
First you have to head over and sign up to be a part of the Windows Insider Program. This is where you need a Microsoft account (Xbox Live, Hotmail, Outlook.com, etc.). Once you’re signed up, check out the System Requirements — this shouldn’t be much of a concern if your PC is already running Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. If it’s all systems go, download the upgrade executable, which will in turn download an .iso for you to use. From here you can burn the .iso to a DVD, or make a USB install drive.
Before installing Windows 10, keep in mind that this will overwrite whatever OS you’re currently running. Backups are encouraged. If you have the spare hardware, install Windows 10 on a separate hard drive, so you can switch back to your normal Windows environment if need be. This is an unfinished product, and will have its fair share of bugs and glitches, prone to frequent upgrades from Microsoft. In other words, this isn’t an environment you want to do regular work or gaming in.
If you’ve installed the Technical Preview, drop your thoughts on the OS in the comments.