Windows 10 for Phone: What We Know So Far

It’s been just over 2 weeks since Microsoft decided to launch the preview of Windows 10 for their phone platform. The new Microsoft is really taking users’ experience into consideration by allowing the public to participate in the previews of their various products such as Windows and Office 2015. As the builds roll out Microsoft has been implementing some of the feedback that users have been requesting through the respective feedback system implemented in their new products. Now it is time for users to test out the new Windows 10 for phones and provide some feedback to make it even better!

1. The Release Date was Hidden Within a Puzzle

Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul tweeted a puzzle (just before release, as in same day as release) in response to someone on Twitter asking for a date (rather than “soon”) and this was his response:

1316? People were trying their best to guess the date/time/whatever and decrypt the hidden info that Gabe shared. Shortly after being release he tweeted the decryption of his puzzle:

And so Windows 10 for phones was release on 12th of February 2015.

2. It is Available for a Small Number of Low/Mid Range Lumias Only (Officially that is…)

If you own anyone of these Lumias, you can, at the time of posting, officially install the Windows 10 preview on your phone: 630, 635, 636, 638, 730 and the  830.

Around launch there was a workaround posted on XDA that made it possible to install Windows 10 on any phone but it was not official and could brick your phone.

3. The Issue with the Higher End Phones

There is a reason why the preview is only available on the low and mid range Lumias. From Gabe Aul on Microsoft’s blog:

We have a feature that will be coming soon called “partition stitching” which will allow us to adjust the OS partition dynamically to create room for the install process to be able to update the OS in-place. Until this comes in, we needed devices which were configured by mobile operators with sufficiently sized OS partitions to allow the in-place upgrade, and many of the bigger phones have very tight OS partitions.

From what I understood the partition responsible for things such as the OS updates is smaller than in the other phones. Which makes sense since the workaround required users to factory reset their phones, to clear up as much space in those partitions related to updates I guess.

I’m not too eager to install it on my Lumia 930 yet because…

4. It is Buggy!

On phones Microsoft have 2 different public tracks for upcoming updates on Windows Phone:

  1. The Preview for Developers program which, to me, is sort of like the RTM for phone updates. These are updates that are not generally available yet, but is very likely to be the final pieces of code that will be implemented in the next phone update. Don’t expect dramatic changes in what you see in the PFD and the official update.
  2. The Insider program. The “alpha” you may say. Expect bugs, expect your phone to overheat, expect somethings to be simply broken, expect updates to come continuously basically expect the unexpected! You could use it on your daily driver, but only if you accept an experience that might be far from stable.

Since Windows 10 for phone has just come out to the public, Microsoft are most likely busy fixing things they haven’t seen yet during their internal tests, all thanks to users’ feedback.

Here are just a few bugs and workaround that are posted on Windows Central. Just remember to make a backup of your phone before you give it a try.

If you are part of the people testing the OS as an Insider please provide Microsoft with feedback!

5. Have a Look at it Without (Possibly) Sacrificing Your Phone

Here is a nice video from Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore giving us a quick tour of Windows 10 for phone:

6. If It’s Broken, Go Back to Windows Phone 8/8.1

Assuming you gave it a try on your phone and things are just bad and you would like to go back, don’t fret. Microsoft has a tool (Windows Phone Recovery Tool) dedicated to restoring your phone back to its former glory. Note that you will start from scratch but you have the option of restoring from a backup that you hopefully took earlier ;-)!

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