Modders have given new life to Microsoft’s end-of-support Lumia line with flashable Windows 10 on ARM ROMs. After significant progress, the LumiaWOA project has released the 950 XL firmware, including the tech giant’s Mark Russinovich.
Russinovich is currently the CTO of Azure, but he was previously known as the co-founder of Sysinternals, where he published a variety of admin and diagnostic tools from 1996 until his company was acquired in 2006.
On Twitter, Russinovich showed off Process Monitor and Process Explorer running on ARM64, asking users if they’d be interested in ARM64 versions of Sysinternals tools. So far, the response has been very positive.
Process Monitor and Process Explorer running on Windows ARM64. Favorite this post if you want ARM64 versions of Sysinternals tools. pic.twitter.com/WtE3BeyZVp
— Mark Russinovich (@markrussinovich) May 2, 2019
Not Quite a Daily Driver
Windows on ARM for Lumia was previously available via deployers, but they could take multiple hours for some users. With the ROMs, users can flash Windows 10 in less than five minutes. It’s very simple, requiring just a few commands and leaving the user with 25GB of free space.
However, while Windows 10 ARM does indeed run on the Lumia 950, there are some major drawbacks. The interface is not at all suited to mobile, making it very difficult to use without the pen. Last month, developers unblocked the cellular functionality, but reports suggest WiFi is still unavailable.
As a result, Windows 10 on Lumia is mostly for the curious. You can dual boot it with regular Windows 10 mobile, though it’s likely most Lumia users have another phone now due to Microsoft’s lack of support.
Still, the project is making good progress, and it’s worth noting it was made possible by Microsoft. When it ended support, it gave users the tools to unlock the phone’s bootloader, enabling projects like this.
You can grab the FFU firmware from the website of Gustave Monce, one of the project’s contributors. They’re currently available for the Lumia 950 XL and RX-130 engineering handsets.