Microsoft is making Windows 10 ROMs for Android smartphones

The HTC One M8 for Windows. Photo: HTC

The HTC One M8 for Windows. Photo: HTC

Swapping Android for Windows 10 when it becomes available later this year may not require you to buy a brand new smartphone. Microsoft is working on ROMs that will allow users to swap Google’s operating system for its own on selected devices.

Microsoft is currently working with Xiaomi to develop a Windows 10 ROM — just like a custom Android ROM — for its flagship Mi 4 smartphone, which will make it easy for owners to switch platforms if they want to.

The move is to enable more users to test Windows 10 so that Microsoft can get better feedback and make the fixes and improvements it needs to before the software makes its public debut. At least, that’s what the company is telling us.

But it must also be quietly hoping that the move will encourage some Mi 4 users to try out Windows 10 for free — without having to buy a new Windows 10 device — and perhaps make the switch completely.

If it goes well, then, we could well see more Windows 10 ROMs for a wider range of devices. If Microsoft wants more people to try out its new platform, that would certainly be a great way to attract large numbers who may not have shown any interest otherwise.

Ditching Android for Windows may sound like a silly idea, but if you have a spare smartphone lying around and you’re curious what kind of improvements Windows 10 brings, this could be a great way to give the device a new lease of life.

And you never know — you may just like it enough to become a full-time Windows 10 user.