Xiaomi says Windows 10 ROM project for Mi 4 is an 'experimental program'

Hugo Barra, the VP of Xiaomi Global, says a project by Microsoft to run a ROM of Windows 10 on the Mi4 smartphone is an "experimental program'.

Barra offered more details on the Xiaomi Mi 4-Windows 10 program, which was announced by Microsoft earlier this week at its WinHEC 2015 hardware conference in China, on his Google+ account. Here is his statement in full:

We received many questions from Mi fans about an announcement made by Microsoft yesterday regarding Windows 10 Technical Preview for Mi 4 users in China. We'd like to clarify a few points.This is an experimental program led by Microsoft, working directly with the Mi fan community in China.Microsoft is working on a build of Windows 10 specifically for Mi 4 devices. This Windows 10 build will not be running on top of Android nor be available as a dual-boot option. A small number of Mi 4 power users from the Xiaomi Forum in China who choose to take part in this experimental program will have to manually re-flash their Mi 4 devices with this Windows 10 ROM, in the same way they would re-flash other Android ROMs.At Xiaomi, we are very supportive of users trying new things and we encourage them to do so all the time! That's why all of our devices ship with unlocked bootloader, for example. That's also why Xiaomi welcomes Microsoft team members to interact directly with members of the Xiaomi Forum in China. More details will be announced by Microsoft in the coming months. This program will only be available in China.Xiaomi continues to fully embrace the Android ecosystem through our MIUI software platform and we're moving ahead full steam building many exciting new Android-based features and services. 

The Windows 10 ROM for the Xiaomi Mi 4 will be released on the Chinese MIUI forums but so far there's no word on when that will occur.

Source: Hugo Barra (Google+)

John Callaham
  • Key point is he's an ex google employee so makes sense he's trying to downplay it....
  • Disclaimer!!!!
  • Despite the downplay, this is truly an historic moment. But...I can't see the phone edition of Win10 becoming like android in that anyone can start creating ROMs for any device. Security would go out the window. Microsoft will have to do this internally just like PC manufacturers do with the drivers for x86 & x64 hardware. The Samsungs and LGs of the world aren't going to do this for them.
    But, they are starting with a huge up and coming player in the android world in Xiaomi.
    They need to do the same thing with the iphone...but that won't happen. That's too much boat rocking right there.
  • This is proof, if any was needed, that  Xiaomi and all other Android OEMs are scared to death of Google. Look at the clibrated response by this  Xiaomi rep, least Google starts thinking they are cosying up to Microsoft. This is THE primary reason why not a single OEM dares to give its best to WP and its ecosystem. Just slapping a WP ROM on existing Android device does not cost much, esepcially after MS is ready to go out of its way to provide all Technical support. HTC kind of half hartedly relase M8 on WP almost towards the end of its lifecycle, that's about it. Google is sure pulling strings behind the scene and discouriging them not to deal with MS - their only competitor in the open smartphone market - Apple is closed. Do no evil, my A$$
  • Scared of google how? Android is open source mostly. Google isn't even allowed in China. Nothing google can do...google is scared of them.
  • Android is open source all over the world. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It technically is. But the version that consumers get to use has all the built in closed source stuff that mostly can't be removed and is pretty much associated with Android, like Google Play, Hangouts, Gmail, etc. That is probably what he means by "mostly" open source, as a large part of the "regular used by consumer" Android is closed source.
  • Well those are Google Play Services which are arguably the best in the Android sphere. The Amazon App Store doesn't cut nor do others. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Also Google doesn't need to be scared of them, because the company also sells phones in other parts of the world such as India where Google's services, especially the Play Store, are important. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • When Windows store becomes better no one will give shit to play store. New games direct x 12 all is in Microsoft hands.
  • Windows Phone is and always was better than Play Shit Store !!
  • Don't you all know that all they companies contract with google to get acess to the Play Store, and its proprietary Play APIs for apps? Manipulation from Google is not impossible.
  • How is Google not allowed in China? Things may be filtered, but it is definately available. I bought a cheap Android tablet over there, and had access to the play store, and used Google to search the web.
  • Yeah I think if they had mentioned that Xiaomi is basically ran by an ex-Google executive from the first moment, excitement wouldn't have been so high.
  • Well he is smart enough to maintain good relations with Google and it's fans by making the statement more clear. Because this is a test, the future, and more importantly the success, of the company lies with Android and its fans not with a platform that has likely never been profitable for any OEM, which is undoubtedly, Windows Phone. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Been profitable for BLU, Yezz, etc. Not profitable for Huawei and Samsung because all they gave were half-hearted attempts that were not advertised or barely available for sale anywhere.
  • What exactly is he downplaying? He's only trying to curb the wild speculation that's happening all over the web.
  • Ignore him,he loves to jump to Google's defense
    You just say android or google and he will act all superior and sing praises as though google created the world or something
  • It's good to see Microsoft is continuing to widen out, hope they stick with it
  • So its isn't final yet?
  • Only China? Hmmm
  • I think he was talking about the Xiaomi experiment... That's not to say MS won't try this elsewhere. Makes me wonder what was agreed in the Samsung 'deal'. :)
  • It is a ploy by Microsoft to test Windows 10 on MicroMax chips without expenditure... Let enthusiasts beta test it for you... If all goes well, open up the market for companies to choose their own preferred processor at the expense of Qualcomm... Can't believe that y'all don't see it
  • Fair shout! I've no prior knowledge of xiaomi or their devices, so I hadn't realised they used different processors... So I guess you're probably right! MS can certainly be smarter than we sometimes give them credit for... If only their execution was as acute! ;)
  • Can't wait to run it on my galaxy S2 after its ported....
  • Probably will run better than Android. Revival of dead phones. Their code name for this project should be "PROJECT RESUSCITATE"
  • Eh maybe. From the looks of it, the S2 has a 1.5 GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, so its basically a Lumia 920.
  • I think 'LAZARUS' would fit the bill haha
  • Actually, since installing Windows 10 on it would make the phone faster, I think the proper term would be "Project Sensu Bean" lol
  • So better say it "Project seems faster" :p
  • Now if we think of it ,maybe Microsoft can port windows 10 to all the phones which didn't get lagdroid updates and are still on 2.2
    That way they will eat into major market share I guess because the newer versions have lesser market share
  • While the WP os lacks in apps (Understatment), some of the things it really does right. I'd love to have the option for dual boot. Windows for work and Android for home/play. I really hope this takes off and the builds work as they would on say a Nokia phone. 
  • Plus WP will also benefit from the better specs typically required by Android phones :)
  • It lacks in junk apps yeah, thankfully most of the "majors" are there! Edit: Plus Android is crap nowadays,
  • Android and its apps are overrated in my honest opinion
    There are a few apps which are missing from WP but its not enough to ditch the platform at all
  • Meth apps are overrated anyway.
  • So people still use g+...
  • Even I noticed that :P
  • I use it, it's okay
  • Anyone who's ever worked at google has to I think. To make it seem like people use it.
  • Pretty decent social network, actually. There are a lot of interesting communities about technology, science, etc. with much more intelligent posts than Facebook and certainly a lot less nonsense such as, "lik and shair dis pic if u like donuts, ignor if u want to fall off a cliff" type posts.
  • If you see those posts, that tells us more about you and the company you keep. Because those are YOUR friends. I don't see any posts like that so I don't know what the hell you are talking about. G+ is a joke btw.
  • Honestly better than Facebook Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Nah I'm on literally every social network (Marketing department for my business) and Google Plus is a joke,Facebook is wayy better and well made
  • I got the impression from the other article that this isn't a full Windows 10, but a Windows-like Android build that has Microsoft services embedded, rather than apps.
  • The article seems to say it will NOT be running atop Android, so I guess it's genuine Windows 10.
  • its genuine windows 10.
  • Go Microsoft! :-)
  • BUILD ..40days from now..
    Think confusions will clear at builds till then we have to wait..
    Hope not longer than that
  • Man im so frekin excited for build after seeing all the new application and design functions, im so anticipating this.
  • I almost forgot about the date for Build. Can't wait to see what else we will know about Windows 10.
  • I DID forget. Reading these comments has made me very, very happy!
  • Since when is something "Only available in China???"
  • Since WinHEC 2015 ;-)
  • Well that's a lame time in history.
  • China is the new US lol
  • Haha yeh yeh.
  • Wen in America?
  • China,India etc are the largest markets actually ,US is 7th on that list by a rather large margin
  • Just imagine... Nokia stores, I mean Microsoft stores "help" xiaomi users to flash and install Windows 10 on their phones... That will certainly help the market share of Windows 10!!!
  • Yep, for the 10 minutes they run it before flashing back when they find practically all the apps they use aren't available.....
  • Nothing to lose though, some will stay on WP which is what matters!
  • You really think Xiaomi users are power users? Seriously? I have a few friends who owns Xiaomi phones who don't even know what version Android is running in them :-) they just bought it because of the specs and nothing else... Imagine Microsoft advertising that they will install the latest and best OS for their phones??? They will just believe it and flashed it within a day. Not because Android is bad but they have more faith on Nokia stores (here in India) than even Samsung.
  • The Xiaomi users taking part in this Windows 10 trial are most definitely power users. 
  • No flashbacks!
  • This is so awesome though! When Android phones that are already out in the wild, in consumers hands have access to run Windows 10 for phone as well, the "installed base", theoretically goes up. All these companies saying there is no market share for Windows devices suddenly have a lot more reasons to develop for Windows.
    Whether they stay or not is another story, but with the barrier of entry this low, people that have never tried it will now try it, like it, and want it to succeed.
    Companies that don't develop will miss out.
    MS is doing everything except advertising correctly LOL. They are attacking Android on so many fronts right now it's kinda crazy. They are in bed with Samsung on services, Xiaomi, Lenovo, on hardware, they've proven they can convince HTC to leverage their great hardware, Xbox on PC, Win 10 comes with Cortana... People will be trying Windows phone without even knowing it. Band is fully cross platform, Surface is finally winning people over, a flagship is coming...
    I'm glad they aren't selling a flagship now since people coming from iOS and Android now would likely dismiss WP, but I think when apps start to reappear in the fall due to W10 being available, the curious folk will come test it as a complete product and have an actual chance at staying.
    Am I rambling again?
  • Google is sooo cornered if you think of it- Microsoft Windows,Samsung tizen,Jolla,Firefox OS etc etc
    All threats to eat into its market share
  • So basically, Xiaomi doesn't even care for this program.
  • Of course not. Hugo Barra is an ex-top Google executive. You weren't expecting miracles, where you? =P
  • Most of the time you expect something most of us do not expect ;)
  • The best thing about Satya Nadella (Microsoft) is they are trying to make Windows 10 for everyone not like crapple... lagroid who just update for flagship device of ass kissers companies like Samsung.. Hail microsoft satya nadella
  • It's funny... They don't want us WP users as customers since they won't develop for us... Yet MS is taking their customers in their own backyard! They woke the sleeping giant and I'm sure MS is going to start converting outside faster than they are leaving soon
  • Well said.. I hope that windows attracts many developers and can compete with lagroid and crapple. In terms of app support.. Because people just opt windows phone because I app support.. Windows Phone are only bought I you want to try something new or hate lagroid and crapple.. Hope we get clash of clans as a universal app for windows and window phones..
  • Someone needs to jack the tool that allows the rom to install. This could be the beginning of custom ROMs. Which would be exciting.
  • Yep! In the end, it's the developers and end users that really make or break any platform. The more widespread and 'open' WP becomes, the more experiments are performed by enthusiasts, the more interest is generated and hopefully the feedback loop becomes self sustaining. This is what WP needs, MS can't do it alone at this point. The trick is how to maintain the WP 'sanity', because we really don't need another Android right now.. somehow WP needs to be open and closed at the same time. *Sighs*
  • I'd be more interested in someone repurposing this tool so that way other phones like my OnePlus could have Windows 10 installed.
  • Anyway it will happen
  • I hope ROM will perfectly works on Mİ4 so they can make a rom fır every Android devices. That could the most great thing :)
  • This is very interesting. They are actually trying to do what Xiaomi has done with MIUI. They ship all devices with MIUI and also make official ROMS available for non MIUI non Xiaomi devices.
  • @psreloaded:
    I doubt that.
    The reason this is working on Mi devices, especially with the manufacturer stating they give a duck about it and leave the work to Microsoft, is because theses devices have a unlocked bootloader. Hence Microsoft can build the ROM on their own without help of the device manufacturer.
    Good luck for that with Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, Moto, etc.
  • @windowsphoenix ,psreloaded is right
    Xiaomi doesn't release their source and drivers so that they have control over their device unlike Moto,Samsung etc
    So Microsoft needs xiaomis source etc to make this happen
    For other OEMs they wont need to do this
  • How will they montize the OS later? I'm not getting it. Non genuine windows users are still gonna be non genuine Windows 10 users. So how will they earn money. I know this a big strategy where only nadella can imagine except anyone else.
  • Why would participating in this program make the Mi4 nongenuine?
  • Services like Onedrive which are paid... You can have a free OS but some of the key enabling technology is paid once you get so far into it.
  • Windows Phone is free since a long time now. So the best move from MS is to make it available on every device. Since its free there is no lost for them if anyone who wants to can install it on his device.
  • Now Microsoft needs to somehow get Linux users on board. Wipe them clean out along with the remaining of Symbian, Firefox, omg tizen, sailfish, and all the less than 1% players
  • Sorry but monopoly for Microsoft again will be bad.
  • Oh yeah, all they need is those Firefox OS and Sailfish users and they'll rule the smartphone market! Lmao
  • Microsoft needs to get rid of the market before they creep up on them, they pretty much destroyed Ubuntu unique dream
  • "experimental project", so was Windows XP. :-)
  • Cant wait for the rom for iPhones.
  • Never ever gonna happen. Apple will update to fix it so fast it won't be funny.
  • I can say this guy is scared from Microsoft. Every one is scared from Microsoft.
  • Lol what? Are you ok?
  • I can't wait for a Galaxy s5 version, I would download it on a heart beat Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • My main question is how is the app parity within China? I mean officially. How many of the china specific social networks and what have you must have apps does windows have in china. Because at the end of the day that is the real deal breaker. IMHO.
  • This nonsense of windows unleashing new phones with funny numbers should really stop. I can't even tell the difference untill I google out the specs. Shifting back to android MI4 for a start. Maybe LG g3
  • Even I can't figure out the differences between the millions of lagdroid phones
  • I see something very different here. If this rom is a flashable one as what was just said... It will wind up on xda and will get worked out there. While those who have a Android phone with locked bootloaders won't be able to play those of us who are able will have something quite unique. The possibilities are endless Posted from my HTC M8
  • Yeah maybe you'll be able to flash windows 10 onto your android M8 in future
    Now if I think of it, that's totally possible!! They already have a completely stable M8 windows rom,they just need to compile it for consumers to flash
  • It's already available on the miui forum yesterday morning.
  • It is a ploy by Microsoft to test Windows 10 on Xiaomi phones without expenditure... Let enthusiasts beta test it for you... If all goes well, open up the market for Chinese companies to choose free Windows 10 instead of Android Can't believe that y'all don't see it
  • F*** the shitty scroogle.... Read the latest news on The Verge about their blackmailing
  • Yes windows phones everywhere for every device just like PCs and laptops regardless of oems.
  • Did anyone actually think this would come out for all phones ? The concept is cool (and I would love a LG G3 with WP on it) but, in the real world, it would never happen.
  • Just for this I might need to get a line on Cricket/ATT....MI4 running Win10 would be sweet:-)
  • Wow, this so-called "Apple clone" company is sure becoming a real competitor. Loving my OnePlus One so far (been over 5 months), but starting to dig Xiaomi's moves to support even more OSs...might be the first device I give WP a shot on, 'cause as of now, would never want to be stuck on Windows Phone based on the looks, lack of apps, and inability to customize it extensively as Android.