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Microsoft releases Windows 10 technical preview for phones: What's new for which devices

Mark Hachman | Feb. 13, 2015
Sorry: Only a handful of phones are immediately eligible to receive the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones, Microsoft said. But if you're one of the lucky ones, here's what you need to know.

The expanded quick actions place a number of options at your fingertips, including the ability to turn off and on VPNs, and the like:

With the improved "toast" notifications, you can just pull down the notification at the top and reply to a text, like so:

What's next? The integrated Office apps, for one.  Microsoft has managed to shrink the entire Office ribbon user interface for small screens, making features like Track Changes available on smartphones. "In upcoming builds we'll also include the new Mail and Calendar Universal Apps from the Outlook team in Office, as well as IP-based messaging from Skype and others, integrated directly into Messaging experience," Aul added.

Bugs and downgrades
Microsoft also said that it had to downgrade or limit some features, including Cortana, which in the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phone is just a U.S.-only, English-only feature.

The new release also has a hefty share of bugs, which include VPN functionality not working, alarms failing to migrate, cellular data failing to work while roaming, and syncing problems with the Microsoft Band. In most cases Microsoft said that it has found workarounds; check the blog post for hotfixes. 

Disappointed fans
While the new preview excited fans on Twitter, many were disappointed they couldn't try it out. Still, it appears that most Windows Phone users will have a chance to play with the technical preview of Windows 10 for phones at some point in its lifecycle.

"The majority of Lumia phones, from our most advanced to the most affordable, can be upgraded to Windows 10," Aul wrote. Chances are, though, that you'll just have to wait.


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