HTC HD2 soldiers on past Win Phone 8, runs Windows RT

The HTC HD2, a smartphone from the Windows Mobile era, has been continuously pushed by developers and the hacking community to support Windows Phone 7, 7.5 and even Windows Phone 8. But now they've managed to get the handset to run Windows RT. Yes, Windows RT.

@CotullaCode published the above photo on Twitter, which shows the HD2 running Microsoft's tablet OS. This name was also involved in the Windows Phone 8 port to the device. Unfortunately, it's not known how the team accomplished such a task, and the end result is not yet available for the public.

The HTC HD2 has proved its worth more than once, and remains a true fighter when it comes to legacy hardware running the latest software. The hacker has posted a number of images that show the desktop app and main start screen in action. It's quite an achievement for such a barrier to be smashed down.

Source: @CotullaCode, via: The Verge; thanks everyone who tipped us!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Hmm.. If this is possible then all 7x devices can run on windows 8. Atleast the mid to high end phones. What say?? ;) :)
  • I agree. If this can happen. Microsoft can accommodate all the fore windows phone devices.
  • Of course they can... but they won't. We should all make that clear right now. It's never going to happen outside any hacker communities.
  • They can, but they wont, there's no profit in old devices, just think about it...
  • Nah, these are just hacks that show a screen, it's not even remotely close to usable as you would hav seen videos instead of just pictures. Same goes for WP8. It may run, yes, but it's far from being even remotely usable.
    Seeing how WP7.8 does actually have a serious impact on the usually snappy and smooth handling of the startscreen, and that gets worse the more different size tiles you add, it is a clear case showing that these devices would not be able to handle WP8 in any usable way.
    It has already been done
  • I am sure you think you are being smart, but what you failed to realize is
    1) that article is sourced by a WPCentral article 
    2) The person that put WP8 on the HTC HD2 is the same person in this article, and
    3) This article isnt about WP8, it's about W8 RT
  • +1
  • I'm sure you think you are being smart, but what you failed to realize is that my reply is pointed towards jordanfernandes. The first comment up there.
  • His reply was correct; yours should've been a reply to the jordan's. See how it looks and his reply was totally reasonable; you can't call people out for not reading your mind.
  • Yes it shouldnt be a problem to run wp8 on wp7 hardware, but because wp7 phones miss the hardware encryption ms wont support it, if I understood correct.
  • Unfortunatly it doesnt work. All Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 port on all WP7 and WinMo6 devices are unusable. The Windows RT ports dont get past the startscreen and the WP8 ports are very unstable and you cant call anyone. Also both ports are terribly slow.
  • Yeah no. The HD2 is pretty much open sourced and has interest and some of the best hackers playing with it. No other device will ever get a WP8 port so stop whining about it.
  • Because it's a total flash. Think about it, if Microsoft released an update they would have to completely flash the entire OS and sooo many phones would brick. 7.8 is a good compromise.
  • That's frickin amazing
  • Speaking of updates on old phones. I have just bought a Nokia 800 and it comes with wp7.8. I can resize the tiles. Will check for more features. But this article makes me want to buy a HTC HD2 again. :)
  • ME too:)
  • I don't expect Microsoft will do anything to bring 1st gen WP7 devices up to speed with WP8 or anything, however, it DOES make me wonder and think that maybe this is a good sign that WP8 and WRT will eventually merge together for a consistent app experience.
    Really if Microsoft reconfigures some things for the lower resolutions of phones (or requires phones meet the 720p minimum) then it could very easily happen. The idea of running WRT on my phone is VERY appealing to me as a user, and it would be very appealing for developers to develop for one platform.
  • From another article, I'd remind people of the following, as well:
    Obviously, don’t expect the HD2 to run Windows RT in its full glory though. The Surface RT with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor sometimes struggles to run Windows RT properly, and the HD2 only has a single core clocked at 1GHz and half the RAM.
  • As a Surface owner I would say "struggles" to be an exaggeration. However, Windows RT is currently not optimized to take full advantage of all the cores of Tegra 3. There is lots of room for performance improvement, which is already noticeable from latest firmware updates.
  • 'Eventually merge together' ?? These share their OS core and API right now, how 'merge' do you want to get? As long as you stay within the programming guidelines what works on will work on the other with very little additional work required, if any.
  • Windows 8/RT's UI has the ability to adapt to multiple screen sizes. Granted the experience isn't as polished on larger screens but I think in time Microsoft will find a way to make its OS adapt to all screensizes and formfactors.
    By then phones will be advanced enough to run the full version of Windows. The only issue is apps, right now Windows 8 and WP8 apps are buidl for specific screensizes. Developers should be encouraged to also make their apps adapt to various screensizes and formfactors. When Windows 8 has enough marketshare it would be a way to stand out from all the (cr)apps.
    I wouldn't be suprised if Windows Phone 10 will never be and Windows 10 will also be available for phones.
  • If this is possible... Then maybe they will update windows 8 phones to a windows phone rt sometime in the future... My wife and I talk about his alot...
  • No.
  • Yes
  • But seriously, no. Everyone cites the HD2 as a reason for porting other phones but no one realizes the HD2 is a once in a lifetime device. not just any other device can do what it can do, but people can't wrap their heads around the concept. It's all "hurr durr microsoft lied about upgrading". No they didn't. The hardware is so drastically different that if you even *could* get it to run, it wouldn't run well, and no one realizes that WP8 is hardware encrypted and porting it to unencrypted phones is the stupidest security faux pas conceivable.
    It will never happen for any other device, officially or unofficially.
  • Its great how the HD2 can still do all this, ever after its not made anymore. The only hope anybody has to have WP8 on WP7 handsets it through hacked Roms, Microsoft said the phones would not be upgradable, which means they are unwilling to do it as to them it will be costly and time consuming, because its pretty much erasing everything on your phone and flashing with a new core and OS.
  • I still have my HD2 laying around. Been running various Android ROM's on it, also WP 7.5. It's impressive.
    WP ran very smooth, but IMO Android didn't run that well. Everything worked fine, but eventually it would begin to lag. I guess that's more likely to be caused by the nature of Android, than by the HD2. ;-)
  • Thanks GOD, I have a HTC HD2, still working good!
  • My 1st question is how did he get a copy of Windows RT given that we do not sell it.
  • +1. That is even more important that the device it was hacked onto. What device was it hacked "from"?
    Then this brings up other questions: Is Windows RT in the form of a ROM? ...
  • In Windows RT you can backup the recovery files to USB, my guess is it was hacked from there.
  • So it might be possible to get windows rt on an android tablet then ?
  • I would want RT on other nexus 7 . Very similar hardware to the surface RT just smaller but doing so would certainly be illegal as you cannot buy a copy of RT. That being said it made its way to the HD2. Probably does not run per se. Probably more like a slideshow but cool still.
  • Featuring windows phone 9. :P
  • Hopefully someone can port WP8 or WPRT (though WP8 would be better and be more efficient with a probably better App Store since it's a smartphone OS)  to the Nokia Lumia 800!
  • The Lumia 800 hasn't even been fully unlocked, only a few lucky devices are capable of loading custom ROMs. So highly doubt we will ever see this on the Lumia 800, unfortunately.
    Bigger chance of this happening on first-generation devices and the Lumia 710.
  • Microsoft needs to merge WP8 and RT.
  • Ah, I'm proud to say this is one of the only phones I got as soon as it came out. Good times!
  • Port it to my Blackberry Playbook then I'll be impressed.
  • That´s really  frickin amazing, the HD2 and Windows Phone are my best companion since many year´s.
    The HD2 and Windows Phone, the never ending story.
  • It wpuld be cool, if the new 1520, can run rt...