Microsoft has been teasing the introduction of new Windows 10 built for ARM processors that could be the basis of its foldable device for some time now. While that remains a separate project, the Redmond-based software maker has also collaborated with San Diego-based chipmaker Qualcomm to introduce Windows 10-powered laptops that have ARM-based processor under the hood. In order to push interest towards development of Windows on ARM, Microsoft announced an SDK last year that allows developers to port their x86 apps to ARM64 platform. While Microsoft is yet to detail its own plans around the space, developers seem to have already made the most out of the opportunity.
A software developer named Bas Timmer from the Netherlands, who also goes by the alias NTAuthority, is trying to brings Windows 10 on ARM, to small form factor. While we have seen devices like the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 powered by Snapdragon 850 and the Lenovo Yoga 630 WOS devices as examples of Windows on ARM, Timmer is experimenting with Windows 10 on Android smartphones like the Google Pixel 3 XL. In the latest experiment, the developer has managed to boot Windows 10 on a OnePlus 6T.
Touch works, UFS doesn’t, so the next step will have to wait for *that* to somehow be figured out. pic.twitter.com/b5GE3HIxKR
— NTAuthority (@NTAuthority) 1 April 2019
Timmer sparked a lot of conversation when he booted Google Pixel 3 XL to Windows 10, where the boot sequence showed Google logo followed by Windows logo. On the OnePlus 6T, Timmer manages to boot Windows 10, but runs into the blue screen of death. As a developer, this could have been the real sign of Windows running effectively on ARM devices that are not computers. The developer shared a picture of the device and called it “OnePlus 6T 🙁 Edition”.
The developer further notes that touch works on OnePlus 6T running Windows since the AMOLED display of the smartphone uses a Synaptics touch controller. Synaptics already supports Windows devices and most laptops use a trackpad made by the company. In a follow up tweet, Bas Timmer notes that the device has ran into UFS problem and we also don’t get to see any sign of Windows 10 desktop GUI on the OnePlus 6T.
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If successful, NTAuthority could pave way for installing and booting Windows on compatible Android smartphones. With the mobile ecosystem virtually locked between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, a third alternative, even if it is Windows, would not really hurt. Also, the idea of having a full desktop operating system in a pocketable device is exactly what we need to exploit edge computing and 5G mobile telephony.