Microsoft testing Android to Windows 10 phone ‘upgrade’

xiaomi mi4Microsoft is really pulling out all the stops for Windows 10. The latest plan is investigating the possibility of getting Android users to move over by loading Windows 10 on their smartphones.

Microsoft are working with Chinese smartphone company, Xiaomi, in testing a tricksy new Windows ROM with plans to be able to use it to convert an Android mobile to one running Windows 10.

Microsoft says it’s already testing such a Windows 10 install with “power users” of the existing Android powered Xiaomi Mi 4, with sources suggesting the Microsoft code “overrides Android” to offer a complete Windows service and is much more invasive than a simple skin or change of launcher.

Microsoft explains the move by saying:

Microsoft will partner with Xiaomi to offer Windows 10 free downloads to a select group of Xiaomi Mi4 users. Xiaomi Mi4 users will get the ability to flash their phones with the new Windows 10 OS and provide feedback to Xiaomi and Microsoft on their experience.”

According to Xiaomi sources who spoke to TNW, it’s more of a Microsoft initiative than a Xiaomi one, with a Xiaomi employee stating:

This is an experimental program entirely led by Microsoft, and we are happy that Mi fans with Mi 4 devices in China will be able to participate and provide feedback.”

It appears that Microsoft reckons that the Mi 4 owners are most likely to be willing tinker. Perhaps there is a more ‘enthusiast’ demographic amongst them? What is interesting is that Microsoft has chosen this route rather than approaching Windows Phone makers.