windows 10 technical previewFor years, we in the technical community have been murmuring in our offices and behind closed doors about how much we wish that Microsoft would have asked our opinions about the new versions of their flagship OS launches. This time we got our wish.

Windows 10 is now available in a usable build that can function in any lab or testing environment. According to International Business Times writer Anvinraj Valiyathara Sivanandan, the full release date is going to match or closely line up with the release of the Surface Pro 4. The Technical Preview release will be almost a full year before the anticipated release date in the autumn of 2015. The popularity of the Surface Pro 3 is giving a lot of optimism in the Microsoft camp that this may increase the adoption of Windows 10.

The technical preview of Windows 10 is designed with one group of people in mind. That is us, the technical community at large! Microsoft wants to hear from us and let us influence the creation and maturation of this OS. The Technical Preview has popups that will appear as you do things in the OS that ask questions. It’s important to answer the popups as they come up in order to give your input.

If we look at the timelines of the past, Microsoft issued the first consumer technical preview on February 12, 2012. The official RTM release of the Windows 8 OS was August 1, 2012. That timetable, almost six months from end to end, was for the largest OS shift ever. This time, the timetable for the Windows 10 technical preview to RTM is going to be about one year. During this year Microsoft is working on changes and enhancements that will come along in new builds.

There have been at least two — if not three — builds already of Windows 10 and as they come out they will be available via Windows Update. Yes! That means no new ISO; just an update to Windows.

With the ability to create a Hyper-V lab in Windows 8.1, there is no reason not to create a virtual lab for testing and working with Windows 10 before the release date. Who knows, the feedback you give may be reflected in the final version and you can say, “I told them to do that!”

The Windows Insider program is the main way to get involved. Follow @GabeAul on Twitter for updates on the program.

If you have questions about any part of Windows 10 technical previews or you need help upgrading Windows, send us an email or give us a call: 502-240-0404!