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Summary:

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a taste of Android on your Windows Mobile handset? Oh snap, you can! Check it out in a video demo and decide for yourself if a custom Android ROM is in your future.

What’s the easiest way to quell a fanboi fight between the Windows Mobile crowd and an Android army? Show ‘em a dual-boot solution for both mobile operating systems on the same handset! “Gen. Y DualBOOT” will help you do just that and I’ll give you three guesses where it came from: XDA-Developers, of course. (You can save those extra two guesses for a later date, because I know you all guessed correctly.)

PocketNow shares the how-to steps as well as this video demo as proof of the multiple mobile concept. The ROM these folks used is specific to an HTC Touch Diamond 2, but Android seems to run buttery smooth on the TouchPro 2. There are different ROM builds for various Windows Mobile handsets, so you’ll want to shop around. Each build also has a list of what hardware bits aren’t quite working yet — watch for glitchy or non-usable cameras, GPS radios and even the cellular bits themselves.

Ironically, I made a comment internally at GigaOm a few months back that was right in line with this approach. I said, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if Google found an easy way to offer Android builds for existing smartphones already out on the market? What would that do for their market share and also to competitors in this space?” That’s not exactly what’s going on here, of course — not by a long shot. But I still wonder how many Windows Mobile handset owners would consider a switch to Android if an official build was provided for their device. And on the flipside, would any Android folks consider switching to Windows Mobile on their device?

Regardless of the switching aspect, this type of hack isn’t exactly for the faint of heart, so unless you’re comfortable with possibility of bricking your phone, maybe you’re better off picking a mobile OS side and staying there.

  1. I am an UMPC user (Viliv X70). Not sure if an x86 based UMPC can have dual boot ( Ex. WinXP + WM or WinXP + Android ). I like the way how HTC-Shift handled two operation systems (WinVista + WM) at the same time. The advantage is
    1) long battery life if WM or Android was used at the most of time.
    2) the mobile phone function can be handled well by WM or Android, not WinXP or VISTA.

    Basically, WinXP or VISTA can be considered as the standby operation system.

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