One of the differentiators between Windows 10 and previous versions of Windows is the way Microsoft plans to provide updates during the test period and beyond with its latest Windows release.
On October 21, Microsoft made available to all of its Windows 10 Technical preview testers a first update to the bits it initially provided for public download on earlier this month. The Windows 10 Technical Preview refresh is available via Windows Update (or testers can manually force the update if they just can't wait).
The new Windows 10 build, 9860, includes a few new features. It adds support for the Action Center, a hub for commonly-used application settings, for Windows 10, as well as the Notification Center, which provides users with a list of notifications regarding changes to the OS and apps. These are both examples of features that are already part of Windows Phone (as of the Windows Phone 8.1 release) which are coming to Windows 10.
Microsoft officials are cautioning that only basic notifications are enabled at this time; quick actions aren't enabled yet either.
Testers can set the speed at which they'd like to receive updates, moving forward. Users can opt for fast or slow by using a dropdown box in PC Settings under update and recovery. The "Fast" setting means users will get the bits as soon as they've passed testing muster inside Microsoft.
The updated Technical Preview release also adds support for some new animations for switching between virtual desktops, as Brad Sams at Neowin recently detailed. Users can also move apps between monitors more easily with the latest preview build.
Microsoft made available its first public Windows 10 build, the Windows 10 technical preview, on October 1. That release is targeted at business customers who want to use Windows on Intel-based non-touch-first devices like traditional PCs (though it also will work on touch-first Intel-based PCs and tablets).
The Technical Preview includes new features such as a new Start Menu, virtual desktops, the ability to run Metro-Style/Windows Store apps in windows on the desktop and more.
Microsoft is not yet "flighting" different new features with subsets of its Windows 10 testers to gain additional feedback. That is something the company is expected to begin doing in the coming months.
Microsoft is expected to make available an updated consumer preview of Windows 10 to testers in early 2015, most likely in January, sources say. It also is expected to deliver a first preview build of its combined Windows Phone/Windows RT operating system, designed to run on Windows Phones as well as smaller tablets, around the same time, sources say. Microsoft officials have said to expect new devices preloaded with Windows 10 to be available by summer 2015.