Lumia

Windows Phone 8.1 will be deader than dead come December 2019

Windows Phone 8.1 will be deader than dead come December 2019

Lumia owners, both from Nokia and Microsoft, your days are numbered. At least if you're still running Windows Phone 8.1. It might be a shock to some that that version of Microsoft's defunct mobile OS still exists and still runs. It might not be a shock, however, to hear that Microsoft is pulling the plug on it this year. Fortunately, Redmond has a bit of mercy and a path forward for the few still holding on to some of these phones for dear life.

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Windows 10 on ARM firmware for Lumia 950 XL now available

Windows 10 on ARM firmware for Lumia 950 XL now available

Microsoft may have abandoned Windows 10 Mobile completely but those who still have a Lumia phone want to hold on to that dream for as long as they can. If they have a Lumia 950 XL or even a Lumia 950, that dream has just become almost a reality, provided they're willing to take the plunge. One of the developers behind making Windows 10 on ARM run on those two Lumia phones has released firmware and instructions that make it easier at least for advanced and adventurous users to easily try out what it feels like to run a "full" Windows desktop experience in their pocket.

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Windows 10 ARM on Lumia 950 XL is one step closer to full usability

Windows 10 ARM on Lumia 950 XL is one step closer to full usability

Once upon a time, Microsoft had a dream that many of its fans wanted as well. But just like the Courier dream, Microsoft eventually killed it, leaving its faithful users wondering what could have been. But thanks to the hard work of some developers, they may no longer have to wonder. Efforts to a run a full Windows 10 version on the Lumia 950 XL has reached another milestone now that it has a working driver for the cellular modem.

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Windows RT on Lumia install guide available for the daring

Windows RT on Lumia install guide available for the daring

Lumia phones are pretty much dead. Windows RT is even more so. But who says you can’t have both? Microsoft probably never imagined, much less wanted, its Windows Phone Internals tool to be used this way, but developers like Ben Wang, a.k.a. imbushuo, aren’t going to take no for an answer. Wang has more or less successfully gotten Windows RT to run on recent Lumia phones, like the Lumia 640 XL, and is now sharing the process so others can join in the fun. That is, if you consider this fun.

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Windows RT on Lumia 640 XL runs with good graphics, audio

Windows RT on Lumia 640 XL runs with good graphics, audio

The Android community is filled with mods of all kinds for devices, from customizations to rooting to even installing alternative operating systems. The same can't be said for other mobile platforms, especially iOS. Microsoft's Windows phones, however, was a no man's land until recently. Now thanks to some avid fans, and indirectly thanks to Microsoft, soon some users might be able to dust off their old Lumia phones and find new use for them. Like, for example, installing Windows RT.

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Windows RT, Windows 10 on Lumia phones now somewhat possible

Windows RT, Windows 10 on Lumia phones now somewhat possible

Microsoft has never been great at handheld devices past Windows CE (arguably). From the Zune media player to the Lumia phones, it failed to compete in markets already overrun by giants. As if to add insult to injury, it often doesn’t give abandoned users with ways to move forward, leaving them with practically useless devices. That slightly changed when Microsoft released the Windows Phone Internals tool which, to some extent, allowed some rather patient hackers to install Windows RT or even Windows 10 on older Lumia phones.

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Lumia Hapanero Windows Phone prototype worked with Surface Pen

Lumia Hapanero Windows Phone prototype worked with Surface Pen

There's no use crying over spilled milk, as the saying goes. There are, however, some milk you really can't help but cry over. Such is the case for Surface Phone hopefuls who are constantly reminded of what could have been. The latest wound to be inflicted on them is a video of an alleged Lumia prototype, codenamed the Lumia Hapanero. Like the elusive Surface Phone, the device showed some crude Surface Pen support, further reinforcing the theory, and the tragedy, of how Microsoft came so close to fulfilling that geek dream.

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Windows Phone prototype shows working Surface Pen support

Windows Phone prototype shows working Surface Pen support

Here’s another one for the “things Microsoft should and could have done but didn’t” files. It wasn’t too long ago that there rumors and leaks of abandoned plans for a Windows 10 Mobile Lumia phone that could have become the Surface Phone that Windows fans have been dying to have. Unfortunately, that possibility no longer seems to even be on the table, with Microsoft’s practically backing out of even Windows 10 Mobile. Almost to add insult to injury, a new video of an old prototype has surfaced, showing off working Surface Pen integration on a Lumia phone.

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This is the bezel-less Microsoft Lumia 435 that never was

This is the bezel-less Microsoft Lumia 435 that never was

If Google is the home of throwaway (and sometimes expensive) prototypes, Microsoft is perhaps the home of broken dreams and, to some extent, promises. From the Courier to Continuum to, now, Windows Mobile, Microsoft has us always asking "what if?". Like, what if it put out a nearly bezel-less smartphone? Well, it almost did back in 2014, 2 years before even Xiaomi got the ball rolling. Unfortunately, like many of its actually good ideas, it passed up on the opportunity.

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Microsoft Lumia to end sales this year

Microsoft Lumia to end sales this year

It is perhaps to no one’s surprise, and maybe to very few shed tears, that Microsoft might soon be putting its Lumia brand as well as its devices to pasture. According to an insider source, it will be sooner rather than later. Before this year ends, Redmond is reportedly stopping the sales of its Windows smartphones. Windows fans, however, might still have something to look forward to, as a Microsoft exec seems to be teasing what most of them are hoping for: a Surface Phone.

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Microsoft has torpedoed its smartphone hopes

Microsoft has torpedoed its smartphone hopes

The writing has been on the wall for Microsoft's smartphone ambitions for some time, and now that wall is being demolished altogether. The software giant, unable to coax a viable mobile strategy out of Windows Phone, and now facing uncertainty around Windows 10 on phones, has announced plans to axe 1,850 jobs related to its smartphone business.

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Windows 10 adopts Android Continuum (sort of)

Windows 10 adopts Android Continuum (sort of)

While you will not be able to get the full desktop experience you'll get with a Lumia device, Windows 10's newest build includes a brand new feature for Android devices. Just so long as you've got a device that's able to mirror its display with Google Cast, you'll be well on your way to mirroring to Windows machines without the aid of a Miracast adapter or dock. This is the first time Microsoft has enabled this ability natively - and it'll be working on all Windows 10 devices soon, thanks to an app by the name of "Connect".

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