In mid-February, Microsoft rolled out the first build of its Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones. However, to the annoyance of many users, the preview was released for only a limited subset of the company's low- and mid-range handsets.
Adding to that frustration, Microsoft hasn't released any new builds for phones in the two months since then - but the head of the company's Windows Insiders program Gabe Aul said earlier this week that it would roll out a new preview build for today.
And today, at long last, the new preview, build 10051, has arrived, and will soon be rolling out to those on the Windows Insiders Fast ring. The update may not be available for everyone at the same time, so if you can't immediately download the new build to your device, be patient and try again a bit later.
Unlike the first preview, which was limited to just six handsets, Microsoft has greatly expanded compatibility of the new build to include almost its entire Windows Phone 8.x range:
Lumia 435 Dual SIM
Lumia 435 Dual SIM DTV
Lumia 530 Dual SIM
Lumia 532 Dual SIM
Lumia 535 Dual SIM
Lumia 630 Dual SIM
Lumia 640 Dual SIM
Lumia 730 Dual SIM
Notably absent from that list are the Lumia 930 and Lumia Icon. Microsoft had previously stated that the Icon would be included in the new preview, but has since issued a correction, clarifying that both the 930 and Icon will not be supported this time around "due to a scaling bug we need more time to fix". The new Lumia 640 XL is also being excluded from the new preview for the same reason.
In order to install the new preview on your handset, you'll need to first install the Windows Insider app from the Store.
As with any pre-release software, you should expect bugs, glitches, crashes, tears and heartache - so if you're not ready or equipped to deal with any of that, you should really avoid installing the preview on your handset. And even if you are totally tech-savvy, it's best to use a secondary device to test it out, rather than installing it on your main phone.
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Update: As many of you have already noticed, the new build isn't actually rolling out just yet for most devices. Microsoft's Gabe Aul has now posted an update explaining the delay:
We discovered this morning that there was an error in the database for provisioning record data, which is required for new phones to join the Fast Ring through the Windows Insider app. The team has been working to correct it but the load on the provisioning data servers has made all operations extremely slow.
To fix the issue, we are taking the service offline and updating the provisioning record data for all 5100 phone POPs. It will take approximately 2 hours for us to make the update, and validate that everything is working.
This is a different service from Windows Update, so Insiders who are currently on 9941 should be able to update their phones if they are already in the Fast ring. If they are in the Slow ring they will encounter the same issue with provisioning data. We apologize for the delay on this and are working to ensure it never happens again.
So those of you who have already installed the first Windows 10 preview build (9941) should be able to update to the latest build (10051) right now as long as you're signed up to the Fast ring. But if you're trying to install the new build fresh onto a Windows Phone 8.1 device, you'll have to wait until Microsoft completes its server-side fixes, before build 10051 becomes available.
Update 2: All fixed, you should now be able to download the new build of Windows 10 for your phone.