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.
Unlike the situation on Android, installing other operating systems on Windows Phone devices is not only new but also totally unsupported. These instructions, the first of its kind, can still end up bricking your device. Even if successful, you will still have wiped your phone’s data, as is the case with any sort of ROM installation. Most people who will embark on this adventure will most likely be using a spare or unused Lumia anyway.
And even if you do get a working Windows RT on your phone, it’s not going to be completely usable anyway. It is indeed remarkable that Wang was able to get graphics and even the touch screen working, that’s pretty much the crowning glory of this journey. Speakers don’t work, for example, but thankfully piping audio through Bluetooth does.
Wang’s latest accomplishment is being able to run Windows Store apps (a.k.a. “Modern”/UWP apps) on the Lumia. Not that there will be much of them left that are compatible with this defunct Windows version. Then again, considering this is Windows RT, you are pretty much limited to running only Windows Store apps anyway.
So what’s the point of these instructions? Impractical as it may sound, it could pave the way for something better. If more heads get together, it could hopefully improve the status of the port, or at the very least give Windows Phone users something to play around with. That is, until Microsoft decides to prevent this unofficial use of a version of Windows it probably wants everyone to forget.