Windows 10 for Phones Initial Thoughts

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Now that we are a few hours post the release of the Technical Preview for Windows 10 for Phone I have had a chance to play a bit with the update and wanted to share my thoughts.  Overall I have to say I’m impressed.  There are issues with this beta, no question there, but overall I’ve found that it is stable on my Lumia 635.  I’ll cover my initial thoughts in distinct areas so you get a feel for my experience with it as you wait to install it on your phone as a Windows Insider or wait for the general release later this year.  Those areas will include the install/update process, general look and feel, performance and any issues I’ve encountered.

Before I get started I want to discuss the announcement of Technical Preview being available for Windows 10 for Phone and the general dissatisfaction that seems to be prevail on Twitter and sites with the way Microsoft rolled out the Preview.  I think most of the issue comes with the fact that it was offered only on low to mid-range Lumia devices.  The Lumia 1520 and Lumia 930 for example did not get access to the update. Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul explained in a blog post that it effectively comes down to the OS partition on these devices:

Some context on why we chose these and not higher end phones like the 930/Icon or 1520: 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.

What I read into that is within the next few weeks we will see an update to the Windows 10 for Phones Preview which will have this Partition Stitching that will allow for the higher end devices to see the update.  The problem of course is that during the Windows 10 event in January, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore showed Windows 10 for Phone running on a Lumia 1520.  Everyone, including me, expected it to be available first round on these higher end devices.  Indeed I don’t think this would have been question nearly as much as it has been had this preview been shown on a Lumia 635.

Right now the devices that can run the Windows 10 for Phones Preview are as follows:

  • Lumia 630
  • Lumia 635
  • Lumia 636
  • Lumia 638
  • Lumia 730
  • Lumia 830

For those with other devices the Preview will be coming as Microsoft slowly expands the number of supported devices, particularly after they get this Partition Stitching element built.

For now, let me give you a flavor for what you can expect on from Windows 10 for Phones when it is available on you device.

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Windows 10 Mobile Preview Launching Today

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Peeps & Tweeps, it appears that today is the day.  Today, according to Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul, we will see Windows 10 Mobile Technical Preview released.  In a Tweet this morning he posted

That pretty much is as clear as day eh? What is better, and kind of funny, is in his very next Tweet he wrote

Okay, going dark for a bit. Need to go push a button… — Gabriel Aul (@GabeAul) February 12, 2015

Now, let’s all take a breath folks because everyone needs to keep a few things in mind.  First, Windows 10 Mobile is going to be in beta which means it will have issues and bugs.  If you are not prepared for that, do not install it on your Windows Phone.  Remember, everything associated with Windows 10 is in beta at the moment.  If you are going to install it, read my Windows 10 Mobile tips post for some advice.

Second, not every device is going to see the Preview today.  If your device isn’t supported today, that doesn’t mean it won’t be later.  But Microsoft has been clear that in the beginning not every device will be supported.  Going to Twitter and complaining about it will not help – so don’t.

So for now, stay tuned and calm.  Windows 10 Mobile Preview will be here in a matter of hours.

Microsoft Hints That List of Windows 10 Mobile Devices to be Released Soon

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The teasing and hinting of what is coming in Windows 10 Mobile continues.  Once again Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul has taken to Twitter to answer questions about the impending Windows Insider release of the preview, this time answering a question around compatible devices.  The question was asked if the dual-SIM Lumia 535 would be able to run the Windows 10 Mobile Preview.  Mr. Aul’s answer?

Once again the question becomes, what does “very very soon” mean exactly?

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