HTC’s HD2 truly is the phone that won’t die. Originally shipped with Windows Mobile, the predecessor to the Evo 4G featured a 1 GHz SnapDragon chip, along with a large, 4.3″ screen. While the hardware was truly ahead of its time, the software wasn’t – so developers and hackers decided to change that.
It was first forced to run Android, and the device quickly gained popularity in hacking circles. Soon after its initial release, the HD2 had a working port of Windows Phone 7. Now, through an unknown process that could likely involve black magic, the HTC HD2 runs Windows RT.
Windows RT is literally Microsoft’s tablet OS. Notably, it powers the Surface RT and various other ARM-based tablets. From a design perspective, it is identical to Windows 8. Feature-wise, the two are almost on parity, though the RT version is unable to run anything that isn’t from Microsoft’s app marketplace.
Developed by @CotullaCode on Twitter, the process has yet to be released. It may never become public, given the obvious legal complications, though it is still interesting to see. However, the developer does provide various images that seem to verify the authenticity of his work; included are photos of the device running the Metro UI, as well as various shots of the process manager reporting system statistics back to the user. CotullaCode reportedly had to write his own EFI bootloader – obviously, this isn’t something that just anyone can do.
It’s interesting to see such an old device running Windows RT. There’s no word on the performance, but given that it’s powered by a single core SnapDragon and running on 576 MB of RAM, it can’t be fast. Even the Tegra 3-powered Surface RT has performance hiccups from time to time. So what’s the point? Well, it’s pretty awesome. That’s the point.