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.
Why would you want to do so anyway? There are many potential answers but the most common one is because you can, at least to some degree. Windows 10 itself has improved its usability on touch devices and ARM-based hardware and what is a phone if not a small ARM tablet?
Work on porting the ARM version of Windows 10 to the Lumia 950 XL has been ongoing for quite some time but in a form that only a few would have been able to try out. With the firmware images released by Gustave Monce, however, it’s now a bit easier for anyone with a Lumia 950 XL, Lumia 950, or RX-130 and RX-127 engineering boards to follow suit.
Of course, there are quite a few caveats to both the installation and the use of this port. For one, it completely wipes out Windows 10 Mobile on the Lumias and there’s no going back anymore. It’s not yet ready for dual booting two versions together, if that’s at all possible for the long-term.
And there are still pieces of the stack that may not be working completely yet and users will be trading in a completely usable phone for a partially working one. Still, the prospect of running a Windows desktop on a phone might be enough to encourage Lumia 950 XL owners to boot up their phones once again.