A preview of Windows 11 was released earlier this week, but a student managed to run Microsoft’s latest operating system via Windows Phone.
Engineering student Gustave Muncie posted a short video showing Windows 11 running on the Lumia 950 XL, one of the first devices that came with Windows 10 Mobile.
The phone was also one of Microsoft’s last Windows phones before the company ended support for its mobile operating system.
Windows 11 adapts to the screen measuring 5.7 inches, but the same does not happen with the speed of animation.
While Windows 11 can be used with a Lumia 950 XL, that’s not the point, but the latest achievement in a five-year hobby of running full versions of Windows across Windows Phone devices.
It all started 5 years ago when Windows 10 Mobile was about to become obsolete, Muncie says. Munsey teamed up with Bingxing Wang, a fellow engineer, to bring the idea of running full Windows on these phones.
Over time, we started talking about it, Monsi explains. Discussion groups were formed. So we had a community of people interested in running full Windows 10 with their Lumia 950s. We are now basically a team of about 15 people, and we’ve made a lot of progress.
The team ported and reverse-engineered the drivers to run Windows 11 over Windows Phone and even wrote their own drivers as well.
“I wouldn’t say we were too quick to do that,” Muncie says. “It took us four years to get to the point where it is.” But it’s good that we got here with not a lot of documentation available.
Windows 11 via Lumia 950 XL
He added, “Given all this work with Windows 10 and the work we’ve done previously to support Windows 10X, Windows 11 was a natural path forward, and it didn’t take much time.”
Muncie and the team built a dedicated website for their project, which includes tools, guides, and documentation on bringing Windows 11 and Windows 10 to these old Windows Phones.
Not everything works perfectly, with cameras failing to work, lack of battery life, and calls and SMS sometimes getting stuck due to Microsoft OS changes.
But it’s a remarkable project to see how well engineers and developers can push the hardware that Microsoft has abandoned.
The Lumia 950 series is about five years old. And the fact that a group of people ported Windows 11 to it is proof that these old phones can still live.