Microsoft’s first new smartphone in years is the dual-screen Surface Duo which will ship with Android software. But while Microsoft has given up on developing Windows for smartphones, a small group of hackers have been keeping the dream alive by doing crazy things like porting the full Windows 10 desktop operating system to run on old Windows phones.

Now one of those developers has managed to bring a different kind of dual screen support to one of those phones.

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL running Windows 10 with extended desktop on an external monitor

@imbushuo has posted a short video showing a Microsoft Lumia 950 XL running Windows 10 on ARM while connected to a monitor via a display dock. This dual-screen setup allows different content to be viewed on each screen so you can watch a video on the monitor while chatting on the phone, for example. And items can be dragged and dropped between displays.

Theoretically this would also work with two phone-sized displays. So if anyone feels like unlocking the bootloader of Microsoft’s $1400 Surface Duo and trying to replace Android with a version of Windows 10 (that probably doesn’t support half the device’s hardware), I suppose that would be the next logical, if expensive, step.

For now, @imbusho notes that extending the Windows 10 desktop across two displays on a Lumia 950 XL running Windows 10 “has some glitches,” but that for the most part it seems to work.

Running Windows 10 on a phone released five years ago probably isn’t at the top of everyone’s to-do list. But what else are you going to do with a phone that’s no longer supported at all by the company that first made it?

via MSPowerUser

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5 replies on “Hacker brings dual-display support to a Lumia 950 XL running Windows 10”

  1. Thank you for reporting on this development, Mr Linder! I am very excited to get my hands onto this new driver pack. The official website is if anyone is wondering. 👌

  2. I don’t think Microsoft has given up on the Windows smartphone. If anything I think they’re on the verge of doing what Samsung has done with Samsung DeX, where they have a traditional touch UI when it’s in phone mode and traditional Windows desktop when docked to an external screen. In terms of the OS, it could still be Windows, but with Android integration, so both Android and Win32 apps work on it.

    1. I think Microsoft has made it clear that the device is Android only. There have also been reports that the bootloader is unlocked. Let’s see how the US audience is going to receive that phone. Most likely Microsoft is going for the user experience now without technicalities other than Android issues.

      1. Yes, this device is Android based, but I think the logical end goal for Microsoft is to get Windows on smartphones/ mobile devices. The problem with Windows mobile was its reliance on the ill-fated UWP platform, instead they need to have Android apps run through Windows. Which is sort of what they’re doing with “Your Phone”.

        1. Personally, I would like that. Having Windows on Smartphones is the perfect goal for the portability of the NT operating system. It is the dream of Dave Cutler, the chief engineer of the NT kernel. 👍

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