A while ago we learned that a Microsoft Lumia prototype supported Windows 10 on ARM project but the company never released the device. There’s probably a chance to hack the Microsoft Lumia 950 and boot Windows 10 on ARM, although this is only possible if the developers discover a way to port the UEFI bootloader.
Today, two real-life images of an unreleased Lumia 950 prototype running Windows 10 ARM has been posted on Twitter.
A Twitter handle ‘Tmsix’ has already managed to get Windows 10 on ARM work on a Lumia 950 prototype, and after a long wait, he has also released the UEFI bootloader to fellow developers. It is also worth noting that the developer will publish the UEFI bootloader for everyone on his Telegram channel if everything goes as per the plan.
Considering that Windows 10 Mobile is currently in maintenance mode, Windows 10 ARM for Windows Phone sounds interesting. Windows 10 on ARM could convert the phones into pocket PC, and performance won’t be bad as Lumia 950 is a flagship category phone with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage.
It goes without saying that you need to have some technical expertise to boot Windows 10 ARM on your Lumia phones, and the route could be risky for the handset as Microsoft has never tested the operating system on the market version of Lumia 950s. Needless to say, Windows 10 on ARM isn’t designed for small screen devices, as a result, certain features will be disabled and won’t work due to limitations on old hardware.
Microsoft has already confirmed that Windows 10 on ARM is only optimized for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, while the Lumia 950 is powered by outdated Snapdragon 808 processor. Moreover, Windows 10 on ARM doesn’t support calling and features available exclusively in Windows 10 Mobile.
In other words, installing a unreleased version of Windows 10 on an outdated Windows phone means that you’ll have to deal with potential bugs and risks involved in the entire process. In the meantime, you can install Windows RT 8.1 on Lumia 930, Lumia 830 and Lumia 730, but again you have to give up on a lot of phone features.
In 2017, Microsoft executives confirmed that existing Windows phones won’t be able to run full Windows 10 on ARM. Belfiore had said that Windows 10 on ARM was never supposed to bring full Windows 10 to phones, the project is more about enabling great battery life and sleep on ARM-based laptops and 2-in-1s.
“For phone-like experiences on ARM, we have Windows 10 Mobile. What Windows 10 on ARM is, is a desktop-like experience so that you get the battery life that ARM processors tend to have,” Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore said last year.
It is always better to stick with the official software as Windows 10 on ARM for phones isn’t really something you would want to use every day, the desktop experience on phones is quite fascinating but still not practical, unfortunately.