Eagerly awaiting the January build of Windows 10? It’s live!

Windows 10 Media Briefing
Windows 10 media briefing webcast
In case you missed it, this Wednesday Microsoft held its first conference to dig into the nitty gritty details of what we can expect from Windows 10. Everything from a refreshed UI to a holographic 3D modeling workshop are said to be a part of the new push, and today they’ve announced that members of the company’s Insider Program will have a chance to get their hands on the January build for the first time.

The build, version 9926, will feature some (but not all), of the new toys and upgrades we saw during Wednesday’s presentation. The biggest upgrade of all of course is Cortana, a fully functional Siri-esque digital assistant that responds to voice activated commands, but not all of its features are enabled in the just-released build.

Related: Hands-on with Cortana in Windows 10

Next is the new Start menu. While not a lot has been changed from what we got with Windows 8.1, the company has heard the voices of the people, and decided to integrate the ability to automatically expand everything out to full screen if you’re using your computer in tablet or touch-ready mode instead of with a traditional mouse and keyboard.

Microsoft will be testing the marketplace waters with their new Windows Store Beta. Other new apps include Xbox, Photos and Maps. There’s also a streamlined Settings experience, which does not replace the Control Panel but does replace the difficult Settings app found in Windows 8.1.

Related: Windows 10 updates Start menu with full-screen mode

If you’re not already a part of the Windows Insider Program but would like to find out how to apply, you can visit Microsoft’s portal for newcomers here. The new build is available to all Insiders at the time of this writing and can be installed either as an upgrade to Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. Users already running Windows 10 can upgrade to it directly from the Metro-style Update app.


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