There’s a saying about things that you could and should. Android, being the open platform that it is, has been used and abused for the craziest things imaginable. OK, maybe running PSX or Mac II on Android Wear still tops the insanity list, but running Windows 7 on an ASUS ZenFone 2 smartphone is definitely a close second. Or is it? People have run different operating systems, sometimes even different Android flavors, on a single device for years now. What makes this attempt different, however, is its near native performance.
This seemingly impossible, if not unimaginable, feat is thanks to the ZenFone 2’s processor, an Intel chip. This particular x86/x64 architecture is more familiar to Windows 7 than the ARMs of almost all smartphones and tablets. This allows the non-Android OS to run more comfortably and faster than it would on any other non-Intel device under the same circumstances.
The process was successfully attempted by XDA forum user ycavan, who was kind enough to share the exact procedures he used in order for other to try it out. Although the process is generic enough to be used on any Android smartphone, again the key to this trick is to use one running on an Intel chip, like an ASUS or a Lenovo.
The process isn’t for the faint of heart either. It, of course, requires the device to be rooted. It also needs a specific Linux kernel to be flashed on to the device. Setting everything up also requires typing and running commands. If any of the preceding sounds alien to you, then that might be a good indication not to try it out yourself. Instead, just sit back and enjoy the show.
ycavan claims, and as can be seen in the video, that Windows 7, not exactly the most lightweight OS, runs acceptably. It’s never going to be smooth and silky though, as, in the end, you’re really just running it on virtual machine that is running on Android. There will definitely be performance hits, especially when you consider hardware constraints. That said, the same procedure could be used to install Windows 8 or even Windows 10. Just don’t expect it to fly.