The Microsoft Corporation released a free download for the newest version of Windows 10 to members of its Insider Program on Friday. Microsoft had announced the latest build (9926) and features of Windows 10 at an event on Wednesday, including Cortana integration and game streaming from its Xbox One console.
Microsoft has said that it will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for existing users of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. During Wednesday’s event, the Redmond, Washington-based software company officially announced that Cortana was finally coming to desktops. The voice-controlled digital assistant originally debuted on Windows Phone.
The new Xbox app for Windows 10 is included in the latest build, which will eventually let Xbox One owners stream games from their consoles to their PCs. So far in the Windows 10 Technical Preview, the Xbox app lets users buy games for the PC, see their Xbox Live friends list, access messages and see friends’ activities.
Microsoft also said that the Xbox app for Windows 10 would eventually include cross-platform play and the ability to watch game clips recorded on the Xbox One. This early version of Windows 10 is still in the works for widespread release later this year, but Microsoft said Xbox One owners will eventually be able to play games against a friend on a PC.
The latest free download of Windows 10 also includes access to the redesigned Start Menu, that works better when switching between tablet and PC mode on a convertible device. It also includes a new Settings app, combining an older interface with tools previously found in the Control Panel. A number of Windows 10 Technical Preview users had previously requested a combined Settings menu.
The latest early “alpha” or pre-release version of Windows 10 also includes easier connection to Bluetooth speakers, TVs with Miracast and other media devices. It has new apps for Maps and Photos with easier access to the OneDrive backup folders, and an overhauled look for the Windows Store that runs alongside the original version, should users encounter serious bugs.