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.
Windows Phone Internals doesn’t actually do that itself directly. The tool is, instead, used for unlocking the bootloader of a Lumia phone. But, like on Android phones, that acts as the gateway to doing more complicated things, like installing custom ROMs. Windows ROMs, that is.
Developer Gustave M. showed off on Twitter how he was able to, with a lot of effort, run Windows RT on a Lumia 830 as shown above. He hasn’t revealed yet the secret behind it, but a different developer by the name of Blaze showed it is indeed possible, on a Lumia 950 even.
Gustave, however, was not to be outdone. He took it one step further. After all, Windows RT is barely the epitome of what a good Windows OS should be. And so he opted to make Windows 10 for ARM, specifically build 17061, run on a Lumia 1520.
Does this usher a renaissance for Lumia phones? Hardly. For one, Microsoft has ditched Windows 10 Mobile, so any such effort would have to rely on spinning Windows 10 for ARM builds, a much more Herculean task compared to a custom Android ROM. There are also critical things that aren’t working, like touch screen input. Admittedly, it’s an exciting development that could spark some hope among the Windows Phone faithful. At least those who still have a Lumia lying around.