Could we ever see a dual-boot handset?
Windows 10 might have been a failure on mobiles, but that hasn’t stopped devs running the OS on Android phones in the past. Now, Windows 10 for ARM has been shown running on Snapdragon 835-powered handsets, including Samsung’s Galaxy S8.
As per Windows Latest, developers posted images last year that showed Windows booting on phones such as the Pixel 3 XL and OnePlus 6T. Now that a memory leak bug in Windows 10 for ARM that affected Snapdragon 835 processors has been fixed, the OS can run on handsets that use the chip.
One of the lead developers, Evisio0n, tweeted images of Windows 10 working on the Galaxy S8. Other devs say they’ve repeated the feat on the Xiaomi Mi6, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, and OnePlus 6.
Being able to run the OS on these phones is more about proving it’s possible, rather than having any practical value. Much of Windows is unusable as touch functionality, the camera, sensors, etc. don’t work.
Windows on ARM runs on laptops with Snapdragon chips, such as the Snapdragon 835-sporting HP Envy x2. This allows it to also run on Snapdragon-powered handsets, too. While it’s a proof-of-concept right now, devs are exploring a dual-boot option for booting into Android or Windows 10 on phones.
The developers haven’t revealed exactly how they managed the feat, and they’ve yet to share any instructions on how to replicate it, but we can expect more details to arrive at a later date.
Android phones aren’t the only devices running Windows on ARM. The OS has also been successfully ported to the Raspberry Pi 3, thanks to an installer made by the same people who got it running on the Nokia Lumia 950 and 950 XL handsets.