The HTC HD2 is probably one of the most enduring mobile phones out there. While it originally shipped with Windows Mobile way back in 2009, it has become one of the most hacker-friendly devices out there, and hackers have managed to port virtually everything to the device – various versions of Android, MeeGo, Ubuntu, and Windows Phone have found their way to the HD2. Russian hacker Cotulla, responsible for many of these ports, has just announced the next big port: Windows RT is now running on the HD2.
Cotulla announced this rather bizarre achievement via Twitter, with a stream of photos to prove he got the job done. Both the Metro environment and the plain old desktop run on the HD2, which presumably includes Office RT and the like.
In order to get all this to work, I’ve been told Cotulla had to write his own EFI bootloader – no small feat, and it demonstrates his dedication and skill (as if that was needed considering he already ported both Android and Windows Phone to the HD2). The fact that Windows RT runs on the HD2 at all is a small miracle – this is a phone from 2009, running on a single-core 1Ghz Snapdragon processor with 576 MB RAM.
We don’t have any video material (yet), and the port hasn’t been released to the public, so we don’t yet know how well it performs. The legality of it all is of course shaky as well, but then, back in the Windows Mobile days Microsoft simply looked the other way and silently approved the ROM community. It would be a nice gesture if they continued to do so today.
I’ve always wanted an HD2, and this news really isn’t helping.
Contrary to popular belief and the ever lasting senseless GHz-GB march, a 1 gig CPU with half a gig of RAM is plenty enough to run almost any modern OS. The problem isn’t that the system is too weak, it’s that software developers are so inundated with an embarrassment of riches that is modern hardware performance, that they’ve become complacent and instead of writing software properly, they succumb to the “meh just get more powerful hardware” mentality.
The examples of this are abound all over the software landscape. Take for instance Office, a suite who’s core functionality has remained unchanged for essentially two decades, yet compare the system requirements for Office 2003 and Office 2013 (10 year difference):
CPU: 233 MHz+
RAM: 128 MB
HDD: 400 MB
CPU: 1GHz+ with SSE2
Each of those specs has increased 4-8 fold and yet, most changes in functionality were largely under the hood and nothing that would justify the absolute ballooning in sysreq’s.