It’s been a few weeks since a new build of Windows Phone Internals made it possible to unlock the bootloader for most Lumia smartphones, and ever since the tool was released, developers have been finding ways to do crazy things like cram a desktop/tablet version of Windows onto phone-sized devices.

Developer Ben Wang has made a lot of progress getting Windows RT to run on a Lumi 640 XL smartphone. While Windows RT is pretty much a dead platform at this point, it is a version of Windows that’s designed to run on devices with ARM-based processors.

Last month Wang showed that he had the touchscreen and graphics working. Today he posted pictures showing Windows Store apps running on the phone.

And now he’s also posted a tutorial explaining how you can load Windows RT 8.1 on a Lumia phone yourself.

@imbushuo

The first thing to note is that the guide is not for the faint-of-heart. It requires making some pretty serious changes to your phone. It looks like a time consuming process. There’s a good chance something will go wrong. And you’ll certainly end up wiping data from your phone… because that’s what happens when you try replacing one operating system with another. The guide also assumes a pretty high level of technical knowledge.

The second thing to note is that the guide still only gets you part of the way to the finish line, because Wang still hasn’t enabled all of the phone’s features. There’s no support for battery status. The built-in speakers don’t work. And cellular features don’t work (and probably never will).

In other words, if you’re hoping for an easy-to-follow list of 10 steps for turning a Lumia phone into a tiny Windows RT tablet, you might want to wait until the process is less experimental.

That said, it’s still pretty impressive that it’s even possible to load Windows RT on a phone designed to run Windows Phone. And since Microsoft isn’t really supporting Windows Phone anymore and app developers are abandoning the platform, what else are you going to do with your old Lumia?

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9 replies on “Now you can install Windows RT on recent Lumia phones (if you dare)”

  1. How about installing (x86 Windows on ARM)
    on Windows RT hardware? That would make
    the hardware useful.

    1. There is already an x86 emulator for jailbroken RT devices called Win86emu.

  2. Damn, I can understand the geek value in this, but WinRT needs to stay dead and be forgotten for good.

  3. I own both a Surface RT and a Lumia 640 and I only have three questions, WHY??? WHY??? WHY???

      1. Well, Nate. The Lumia works perfectly fine as a phone and has all of the apps that I need or want. The RT, well… would you like to buy it?

  4. This IS really cool, but I am not sure what you would do with old, unpopular software running on old, unpopular hardware. Yes, I know some people loved these phones but not enough people did to save the platform.

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