On the surface, Windows 10 might not look like much of a change from earlier Windows versions, but beneath the surface, you might get a different impression. Plenty about Windows 10 has changed, and now Microsoft says it’s almost ready for mobile as well. It seems almost as if Microsoft has been preparing Windows 10 for mobile from the start, rolling it out on computers that have touchscreen capability and an all-around tablet feel to them. Windows 10 is also the first Microsoft OS to feature a digital assistant, Cortana, on a desktop computer. So, when Windows 10 is finally ready for mobile download, hopefully it will already work well enough as a standalone mobile software.
That’s the good news about the Windows 10 update. The bad news? Only certain phones are eligible to take advantage of the download. According to Microsoft’s support page, only Windows Phones running Lumia Denim (OS version 8) can grab the Windows 10 update. To check if you meet those requirements, you can go to Settings–>About–>More Information and see which OS you’re currently running.
For those who meet the Windows 10 download requirements, Microsoft has only given a vague “soon” as to when the upgrade will be available. WMPowerUser did speculate that we could see the new Windows 10 update as early as the middle of January, but nothing official has been announced just yet.
If you’re considering the update and are due for a new phone, the Nokia Lumia 950 XL ships with the Windows 10 update right out of the box. As with previous OS versions like Windows 7 and Windows 8, the OS revolves around handy little “live tiles,” which update themselves automatically with important info such as weather, breaking news, and traffic. There are also tiles for social networks (IE the Twitter tile tells you when you have new followers). Perhaps best of all, the new Windows 10 update doesn’t need approval from your carrier and can be installed over the air, as WinBeta found out recently.
Also new in the Windows 10 update is Microsoft Edge, a new web browser that may one day replace the much-hated Internet Explorer. For now, Edge is available alongside of IE, but has new features such as Cortana integration and the ability to annotate web pages. Cortana is also smarter in Windows 10 and will suggest things such as contact info for a restaurant when it sees you’re browsing your favorite place’s website. Cortana also offers news, weather, and traffic without having to be asked.
If you’re torn about whether the Windows 10 update is for you, you can try it out on your computer now for free as long as you’re part of the Windows Insider Program. It’s pretty much a given that the Windows 10 update will be fixing bugs for some time after it comes out, so there are possible advantages to waiting before you update as well. If you want to check out the Windows 10 update for mobile before the full OS comes to Windows phones, you can do so by clicking over to Microsoft’s website on your Windows phone. From there, just install the Windows Insider App, and you’ll be given instructions to get the Insider preview.
If you want to grab the Windows 10 update, you’ll need a whopping 8 GB of free space on your Windows phone. Microsoft also makes a disclaimer that not every feature will work flawlessly (or at all) on every eligible Windows phone, but that’s to be expected. Will you be trying the Windows 10 update when it becomes available? Let us know if you like what we’ve seen so far of Windows 10 and what you would change.
[Image Via Brar_J/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]