How to run the Windows 10 Technical Preview on a Mac, for free

Here's how you can run the new Windows 10 Technical Preview on your Mac, without having to spend a dollar on software.

Want to check out the new Windows 10 Technical Preview but find yourself not invited to the party because you run OS X? Don't worry, because you can do just that, completely for free.

Here's how you can play with Microsoft's latest operating system by installing into a VirtualBox virtual machine.

1. Sign up for the Technical Preview. This will give you access to a product key as well as the .ISO downloads you need. If you don't want a product key, you can download the .ISO files direct from Microsoft.

2. Download and install VirtualBox.

3. Click New to create a new virtual Machine. Give it a memorable name, and choose either Windows 8.1 (32 bit) or Windows 8.1 (64 bit) from the list of operating systems (there is no Windows 10 in the listing as yet) as appropriate to the download you have.

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4. Progress through the wizard to set up the virtual machine (the defaults will work just fine). When you are done you'll have a new virtual machine listed on the left-hand-side of the application.

5. Click on the virtual machine and select Storage and next to Controller: IDE and choose Add CD/DVD Device.

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6. Pick Choose disk and find the Windows 10 download file. Click OK.

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7. Click Start to fire up the virtual machine. This process will guide you through the Windows 10 install process. I'm not going to be holding your hand from here on. You're on your own.

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8. That's it! Once you're done, you can play away.

Do remember that Windows 10 is pre-release software, so things can -- and probably will -- go wrong. On the upside, because it's installed into a virtual machine, it won't trash your system or cause any other mayhem.

Some points to remember:

  • Some graphical features may not be available or run correctly.
  • Performance will take a hit since your hardware will be running two operating systems.

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