Xiaomi's Hugo Barra Clarifies Microsoft Windows 10 Mi 4 Situation

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 Technical Preview experience was coming to Xiaomi Mi 4 users in China. This announcement caused many questions from within the community, so much so that Xiaomi's Hugh Barra publically discussed Xiaomi's stance on the news via a public Google+ page. As for this news, it's easy to see why people were excited about the announcement. Did it mean that Xiaomi was planning on releasing dual boot devices that could switch between Windows 10 and Android? Or were they perhaps planning to ditch Android (or, rather, their fork of Android, MIUI) and concentrate on Windows 10 devices? In his statement, Hugo explains that this is an experimental program led by Microsoft that Xiaomi is permitting rather than participating in.

The project revolves around Microsoft working on a Windows 10 built for the Xiaomi Mi 4 device, which is to replace the MIUI (forked Android) ROM already installed. It's not going to sit over the Android ROM nor is there going to be a dual boot option. Furthermore, the experimental Microsoft Windows 10 ROM is only going to be available to a "small number of Mi 4 power users from the Xiaomi Forum in China who chose to take part in this experimental program will have to manually re-flash their Mi 4 devices with this Windows 10 ROM." Hugo goes on to explain that Xiaomi welcome and encourage users to experiment with new ideas and ROMs, which is why their devices ship with unlocked bootloaders. Xiaomi has also welcomed Microsoft employees to directly interact with members of the Xiaomi Forum in China. And in case there was any doubt, the scheme will only be available in China.

Hugo has a used a careful choice of words in his statement. Currently, there are no plans to dual boot Windows 10 with Android. The project's availability is also very restricted, but it may help demonstrate Microsoft's determination to success in the smartphone industry. The project also helps to demonstrate that Windows 10 and Android devices will run on very similar hardware, although the HTC One M8 For Windows ought to have demonstrated that.

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.