Good news, Windows Phone fans: Windows 10 for phones will reportedly be available on several popular smartphones—including the iconic Lumia 1020.
However, don’t expect the first build of Windows 10 for phones to have the same sort of spit and polish as Windows 10 for desktops, according to Windows Central, which reported the story using both its own sources as well as tweets from Jesse Leskinen, a Java and PHP developer.
HTC One M8 will get Windows 10 in the first batch of the preview, at least people in the internal MS preview have WP10 on it @Daniel_Rubino— Jesse Leskinen (@jessenic) February 9, 2015
There are people with WP10 on Lumia 1520 and 1020 too.— Jesse Leskinen (@jessenic) February 9, 2015
Leskinen’s information, however, remains unconfirmed by Microsoft—and, to be fair, it may all be wishful thinking at this point.
Why this matters: It’s almost certain that Windows 10 is being tested against the massive Lumia 1520, as well as the HTC One—both solid smartphones that have been embraced by Windows Phone fans. What’s less certain is how deep Microsoft plans to dig into its back catalog to support the upcoming Windows 10. Microsoft’s Lumia Denim/Lumia Camera update would seem ideally suited for the 41MP that the Lumia 1020’s camera packs, but Microsoft has disappointed customers by skipping over it. We can’t say for certain which phones Microsoft will support with Windows 10, but it would be in Microsoft’s best interests to include as many as possible.
What we know about Windows 10 for phones
Microsoft showed off several aspects of Windows 10 for phones at its Windows 10 event last month in Redmond. There, Microsoft demonstrated how information will sync between desktop Windows 10 PCs and phones running the new operating system, as well as a sneak peek at some of the new “universal” apps that will debut on the phones themselves. We haven’t yet seen the new versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel that will launch on Windows 10 phones, but they have been released for Windows 10 PCs.
At this point, the only concrete information we have about which existing Windows phones will receive the Windows 10 Technical Preview comes from Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, who tweeted over the weekend that Windows 10 will be available for a broad swath of phones:
Hey all: we ARE working on Win10 for 512MB, including 520. Our ambition is to make #Win10 available for these devices but features may vary— joebelfiore (@joebelfiore) February 8, 2015
Microsoft has recently pushed to expand the Windows Phone lineup by adding a number of lower-cost phones, some of which have scrimped on available memory in an attempt to cut costs. In addition to the most popular Windows Phone, the Lumia 520, last year’s Lumia 530, 630 and 635 all have 512MB.
As Belfiore noted, however, “features may vary” on these lower-memory phones. That sounds very similar to the language Microsoft used when describing the upgrades that owners of the Surface and other Windows RT tablets would receive when upgrading to Windows 10: specifically, they’ll receive "some of the functionality" of Windows 10, but not all of it.
Windows Central also seems to have obtained concrete information that, at least at this stage, the technical preview of Windows 10 for phones seems... well, like a technical preview. Windows Central said that the latest build contains numerous bugs, including a battery-draining bug that makes the phone run hot. Other issues include poorly optimized animations, and a non-functioning glance screen. Windows Central notes that the glance-screen bug is specific to the HTC One, however, apparently confirming that the phone is being tested against Windows Phone 10.