Windows 11 on ARM runs well on Lumia 950 XL and RPi 4

Ewdison Then - Jun 29, 2021, 10:08pm CDT
Windows 11 on ARM runs well on Lumia 950 XL and RPi 4

The next big leap for Windows 11 is already starting on the wrong foot, and it hasn’t even launched yet. Microsoft’s inconsistent and unclear requirements have left people scratching their heads. The final word on existing PCs with Intel and AMD processors is still up in the air at this point, but the story for ARM-based devices is so much simpler. It seems that only Qualcomm Snapdragon chips are officially supported, but that hasn’t stopped some developers from making Windows 11 run on other ARM devices, including an old Lumia 950 XL.

That the Lumia 950 XL would run a full version of Windows 11 might not come as a surprise to many Windows enthusiasts these days. The phone, which was launched back in 2015, initially ran Windows 10 Mobile anyway. Thanks to the efforts of some very arduous developers and modders, it was eventually possible to run the full Windows 10 on ARM experience on it as well.

One of those developers is Gustave Monce and, unsurprisingly, there was some interest in seeing the Lumia 950 XL running Windows 11 as well. The developer made a quick and dirty video showing that off, leaving it to the viewer to judge whether it is indeed faster than Windows 10. Performance considerations aside, it’s still impressive to see Windows 11 working almost without a hitch on the six-year-old phone.

Reddit user theSPEEDCAT attempted the same but on a Raspberry Pi 4 instead. The ARM-based device, running on a Broadcom processor, can already run various forms of Windows 10, including the IoT edition and even an unofficial full version. It was noted that the system was noticeably faster with Windows 11 than Windows 10.

That said, the images used for these experiments are based on an earlier leaked Windows 11 build, which may be very far from what the final version will be. It’s also unknown what requirements Windows 11 will have for ARM64 devices since it’s unlikely that Microsoft will allow the operating system to be so easily installed on unsupported hardware.


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