Just yesterday, Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 — the OS that’s such a huge step forward that the company had to skip Windows 9 entirely. They’re hoping you’re so excited about the changes that you’ll want to take Windows 10 for a test drive — and now you can!
The process isn’t quite as simple as clicking a download link, but it’s not much harder.
First off, you’ll have to become a Windows Insider. Fortunately, that’s not exactly a difficult process either. You won’t need to buy special vestments or a signet ring, and you don’t need to memorize an oath or go through a grueling initiation process. You just need to sign in with a Microsoft account, and chances are good you’ve already got one of those — either from Hotmail or Outlook.com, to grab a few free gigs of cloud storage on OneDrive, or from signing up for Xbox Live.
If you don’t have one, it’s just a few blanks on a form to fill out, and you can use an existing email account. You don’t have to register for a new Outlook email address you’ll never use.
Once you’ve signed in and officially become a Windows Insider, the next step is to agree to the terms of service. As excited as you are to get your hands on Windows 10, please: take the time to read through the terms and make sure you understand them.
After agreeing to Microsoft’s terms, you’re ready to proceed to the download section. Clicking the install Technical Preview link will take you to a page that lists all the available downloads. Choose the right number of bits and language for your system. Right now we’re only seeing English, Chinese, and Portuguese, but other languages will no doubt be added soon.
Microsoft is serving up the Windows 10 Technical Preview download as an ISO file. That means you’ll either need to mount it to a virtual drive, burn it to a DVD, write it to a flash drive, or extract the files to a drive before you can do anything with it. If you’re upgrading a Windows 8 system, you’ve got built in support for ISO files so you should just be able to right click, mount it, and open the Windows 10 preview.
Launch the setup app, and you’re on your way. Just don’t forget that this is a preview release. There will be bugs, but Microsoft has also promised frequent updates as they steamroll toward the Windows 10 RTM next summer.