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Trying Windows 10 Tech Preview? Keep these 7 things in mind

Juan Carlos Perez | Oct. 2, 2014
Microsoft has kicked off the Windows 10 public testing period, but the company wants the fearless enthusiasts willing to participate in the Insider Program to be aware of a number of things before they jump in.

Specifically, after installing the OS, Microsoft will collect information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and how you use them. "Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage," according to the privacy statement for the program. Peruse this privacy statement carefully so you know what you're agreeing to.

In addition, Windows Update will be set to automatically install important updates on your PC as they become available. "You won't be able to turn off automatic updates in Windows Technical Preview," the FAQ reads.

4. The focus is on business use of Windows on Intel/AMD PCs with keyboards and mice

Anyone can participate, but this particular program is aimed at crafting Windows 10 so that it's a success in workplaces among employees and IT pros using the OS in x86 PCs with mice and keyboards.

Microsoft plans to address the consumer features of Windows 10 later on, most likely after the year-end holiday shopping season, so as to not hurt even more the standing of lame-duck Windows 8/8.1 in that market. At that time, Microsoft is expected to address in detail the use of Windows 10 in tablets and in hybrid tablet/laptop computers, including those running ARM chips, which currently use the RT version of Windows 8.

"Technical Preview works with touch, but some things will be rough and unfinished. More touch-friendly improvements are on the way. In the meantime, let us know what it's like to interact with Windows and apps in the preview," reads the FAQ.

There will be two versions of the OS available: Windows 10 Technical Preview and Windows 10 Technical Preview for Enterprise. According to a spokeswoman for Microsoft, both have the same functionality, but the Windows 10 Technical Preview for Enterprise also includes current enterprise capabilities such as Windows To Go, DirectAccess, BranchCache and AppLocker, so it's intended for IT pros.

"Those added benefits will help businesses evaluate the Windows 10 Technical Preview in their environments while continuing to benefit from the capabilities they currently have with Windows 8.1 Enterprise today," she wrote via email.

5. Rolling back the OS to the one you had before won't be a cakewalk

If you get fed up with testing Windows 10 and want to revert the PC to the OS you were running before, it won't be easy. The previous Windows OS will have to be reinstalled from the recovery or installation disk — typically a DVD — that came with the PC. Absent that, Windows 7 and Windows Vista users should create a recovery disk from a recovery partition on their PC using software provided by the hardware vendor, while Windows 8 or 8.1 users "might be able" to create a USB recovery drive.


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