How to Join the Microsoft Insider Program and Get a Trial Copy of Windows 10 Preview

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If you are interested in participating in a Microsoft program that previews Windows 10 as it undergoes further devlopment, you can sign up at this link to download a preview copy of Windows 10. You'll have to join the program and agree to provide feedback. In essence, you sign up to be a beta tester. Of course, you would not do this on your regular system. This is an unfinished product with many bugs likely. It should be installed only on a virtual machine or a system you are not using for anything else. The ISO download is nearly 4 GB and system requirements are similar to Windows 8.

Microsoft calls this the "Insider Program" and says:

With the Windows Insider Program, you’ll get all the latest Windows preview builds as soon as they’re available. This means you’ll be one of the first to experience the new ideas and concepts we’re building. In return, we want to know what you think. You’ll get an easy-to-use app to give us your feedback, which will help guide us along the way. This program is designed exclusively for people who want be involved in the process. So if you want to help us build the best Windows yet, we want you to join us.

The terms of service are:

By accepting the Terms of Use and Privacy Statement, you agree that:
  • The experimental and early prerelease software and services might not be fully tested.
  • You might experience crashes, security vulnerabilities, data loss, or damage to your device.
  • Your detailed usage and device data will automatically go to Microsoft and our partners to improve our products and services. See the Privacy Statement for more information.
  • You will receive communications about the program and related promotions.
  • Once you’ve joined the program, to stop receiving such communications you must leave the program.

This is definitely not for everybody but I thought it worth passing on.

Added Later: If you do join the program, you may want to visit the Windows 10 forum.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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Comments

Be careful! I signed up and then followed the steps to get the update through the Windows update page thinking it was the process to get the ISO. Windows requested a reboot then after the reboot went into the Windows Update page and downloaded a file that was nearly 3GB then starts installing. This upgrades the computer to Windows 10.

I caught it in time but it does leave the Windows 10 update as an important update. You need to go Programs and Features and uninstall kb2990214 then restart and do a Windows update to clean your system.

You should type iso in the search field on the Windows Insider page and find the page to download the iso image instead.

Why be an unpaid beta tester for Microsoft? I'm open source now.

I simply installed the Preview in a VM (VMware Player), and it has worked flawlessly since. 3Gb memory, 2 processors alloted. Using Dell XPS 15 (L502x). Not much difference from my point of view, but I haven't used it heavily. Only 3 days ;-)