Here’s Why Your Windows Phone Might Not Be Able To Run Windows 10 — Yet

Windows 10 is out for Windows Phone devices. That’s wrong. Windows 10 is out in preview for Windows Phone devices. Wait, that’s wrong, too. One more try. Windows 10 is out in preview for a subset of Windows Phone devices that currently run Windows 8.1. There we go.

If you have a Lumia 630, 635, 636, 638, 730 or 830, and are running Windows 8.1, you can get the new code from Microsoft. If you, like me, are sitting with a charged Lumia 9xx device, you are probably wondering what you did wrong.

Microsoft promises that it will support more phone models with “each new build” of the code, so your time in the cold might be short. That said, Microsoft cites two technical reasons why the first crop of support phone SKUs is so constrained. First, a point on testing:

[F]or this technical preview, we need to start with a small subset of devices in order to isolate OS issues from hardware or board support package issues so we can stabilize the platform. This is a normal part of the engineering process, but you would not have seen it in the past because we haven’t done a public preview before[.]

That seems reasonable enough. But why pick a grip of lower-end phones, when the most die-hard Windows Phone fans likely have the faster, more expensive 9xx and 1xxx-series devices?

Some context on why we chose these and not higher end phones like the 930/Icon or 1520: We have a feature that will be coming soon called “partition stitching” which will allow us to adjust the OS partition dynamically to create room for the install process to be able to update the OS in-place. Until this comes in, we needed devices which were configured by mobile operators with sufficiently sized OS partitions to allow the in-place upgrade, and many of the bigger phones have very tight OS partitions.

Bad luck, compadre.

The enthusiast community will likely whine some at the exclusions, but provided that Microsoft can quickly roll out updates to the code and bring more devices into the fold, the whining should be short-lived.

Now the game is afoot: Microsoft is betting the soul of its principle platform on the idea that it can build a single operating system for devices of all sorts, screens of all sizes, and inputs of any variety. What you can’t say is that the vision is small.

Anyone want a Lumia 929?