Microsoft Tweaks Windows 10 Upgrade Rules

More than two months after it was released, Windows 10 is seeing ever-growing usage, especially among people downloading productivity apps and games, Microsoft said in an update this week. Since yesterday, the company has also released two new preview builds of the OS for its "Insiders."

One of the biggest changes announced yesterday with the launch of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10565, involves making it easier for users with product keys for previous versions of the OS to upgrade to the full new version for free using product keys from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. Users will also be able to do clean installs of Windows 10 by entering their product keys.

Today, Microsoft released Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 10563, a pre-release update to be used in conjunction with the build announced yesterday. The SDK preview build includes revisions to the Windows 10 Mobile Emulator and is only designed for use by developers on test machines.

New Skype, Cortana Capabilities

The Windows 10 build released yesterday is aimed at Insiders in Microsoft's so-called Fast Ring, which gives users access to the earliest and roughest-edge versions of new builds. It comes with "quite a few new features and improvements," noted Gabe Aul, corporate VP for the engineering systems team in Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group.

In addition to the new support for previous OS product keys, Build 10565 will let users preview several Skype features that will eventually be available to all users running Windows 10 on compatible devices. These include Quick Reply from the Action Center, which lets users view incoming notifications and reply inline without having to open the Skype application.

Yesterday's build also adds hover-over previews of tabbed Web sites in the Microsoft Edge browser, syncing of Favorites and Reading list items in Edge, and new abilities...

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