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Just XDA things: here’s Windows 7 running on the Asus Zenfone 2

Can a current desktop operating system running on an off-the-shelf smartphone (and an affordable one to boot)? Oh, yeah, someone got Windows 7 to run on a Zenfone 2.
By
July 10, 2015
ASUS Zenfone 2-5

Coaxing software to run on devices that are not supposed to support it is a favorite pastime around some corners of the Internet.

Most recently, we’ve seen stuff like Windows 95 and Macintosh II running on a Samsung Gear Live or Android running on a freaking graphic calculator.

But how about a current desktop operating system running on an off-the-shelf smartphone (and an affordable one to boot)? Oh, yeah, someone got Windows 7 to run on a Zenfone 2.

There’s a fair bit of technical wizardry involved, and XDA-Developer user Yua Ca Van helpfully listed all the required steps here. Put very simply, this is Windows running on a virtual machine on Android. The speed is sluggish, but what really matters is that the installation is fully functional, complete with sound, network access, shared storage access, and more. For all intents and purposes, this is Windows 7 actually working on a consumer smartphone, without modifications.

So, why did Yua Ca Van choose the Zenfone 2 to experiment with Windows 7? Two reasons: the Zenfone 2 runs on an Intel x86 processor, making it easy to virtualize Windows on it; and it has 4GB of RAM, which appears to be enough to load up and run the OS without cracking under pressure. More about the benefits of those gigs of RAM here.

Let this be – another – reminder that we live in the future.