During Microsoft’s big announcement earlier today that Windows 10 will arrive this summer, the company also revealed that it is working with Xiaomi to test its new operating system among power users.
In a Microsoft statement obtained by TechCrunch, the company said they are partnering with Xiaomi to offer a select group of Xiaomi Mi4 smartphone users access to Windows 10 free of charge through the Windows Insider Program.
Those selected will be able to flash their phone using a custom ROM that'll put Windows 10 on their Android handset. From there, users are invited to provide feedback to both companies regarding their experience.
Reading between the lines a bit, the bigger story here is that Microsoft is actively developing a way for Android users to make the (free) switch to Microsoft’s mobile platform without having to buy a Lumia handset. Some Lumia devices are nice but let’s face it, there are plenty of other more attractive Android phones to choose from.
If this plan pans out, users may no longer have to buy Lumia hardware to enter Microsoft’s ecosystem. And who knows, perhaps this sort of thing could catch on to the point where handsets are sold as barebones devices that allow users to select the OS of their choice during the setup process (it doesn't hurt to dream, eh?).
Microsoft said it plans to announce availability in the coming months.