The first Windows 10 laptops and tablets with ARM-based processors are set to hit the market this spring, but at least one person has already figured out how to load Windows 10 onto an old phone that had originally shipped with Window Phone software.
Gusave M. from InsideWindows has posted a picture of a Lumia running Windows 10 build 17061 for ARM 32-bit processors.
The first thing to note is that not everything is working. Gustave notes that the touchscreen doesn’t work, even though the drivers are loaded. But it’s a start.
The port was made possible by the recent release of WP Internals 2.3, a tool that allows you to unlock the bootloader of any Lumia phone, root the device, and install custom ROMs. Other folks have also ported Windows RT to run on Lumia devices. That’s not nearly as exciting, since Windows RT is pretty much a dead platform at this point. But it shows that there’s some community interest in hacking old Lumia smartphones.
In fact, WP Internals developer Heathcliff74 says the new version of his app was downloaded more than 10,000 times in 2 days.
You can download the latest version of WP Internals from its website if you want to unlock the bootloader of an old Lumia phone. But unless you know what you’re doing, it’s probably not a good idea to try replacing the operating system on your phone if it’s something you’re still actively using as a phone.
Still, while we wait to see if Microsoft ever actually releases the long-rumored “Surface Phone” that you can use as both a mobile phone and a desktop PC, we can live vicariously by watching folks like Gustave M work to port the full Windows operating system to run on old phones.