While we’ve seen three releases of Windows 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft is promising that the January Technical Preview will be the best release of Windows 10 yet. And for those who have held off to test the pre-release version of the operating system, the software giant is making available an updated tool to allow Windows Insiders to safely upgrade to the Windows 10 January Technical Preview on Windows 8.1 or even Windows 7 as the software will be more stable in early 2015.
These are small tools — one is called “PrepareWin81ForWindowsTechnicalPreview” and the one for Windows 7 is called “PrepareWin7ForWindowsTechnicalPreview” — that simply adds the necessary code in your system to install the Technical Preview when it becomes available.
You can download and install the new tool from the Windows Insider Program page or you can simply download using the links below. Once you install the tool, you’ll get a message saying: “Your PC is now ready for Windows Technical Preview — Windows Update will let you know when the latest preview build is ready to install on this PC in early 2015.”
This indicates that for the first time ever, Microsoft will deliver a pre-release version of Windows via Windows Update. And more importantly, it strongly hints that Windows 7 users might also get Windows 10 free as Microsoft has stated before that it will allow Windows 10 testers to upgrade to the final version of the operating system (but this is just my guess).
If you decide to test Windows 10 Technical Preview now, the latest release is build 9879, you can download the ISO file from the Windows Insider Program and you can install it on a virtual machine using VMware Workstation or VirtualBox, or you can create a dual-boot system running Windows 10 alongside Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.