Windows 10 Mobile on track for most Lumia phones

Microsoft's next test version of Windows 10 Mobile, expected around the first week of April, will support a lot more devices than the first one did.

Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network.
Mary Jo Foley
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The Lumia 535 is among the Windows Phones that will be able to run the next test build of Windows 10. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Microsoft's Operating Systems Group team has added code to the next test build of Windows 10 Mobile that will allow that release to work on the majority of Windows Phones.

When Microsoft released the first test build of Windows 10 Mobile in February, it was built to run only on a handful of Lumia devices, specifically the Lumia 630, 635, 636, 638, 730 and 830 phones. Microsoft execs attributed the small number of initially supported devices to the "very tight OS partitions" that left insufficient room for the installation process to update the OS in place.

But the second test build, which may not be available until the first week of April or so, will support the majority of existing Windows Phones. Microsoft officials went public with the list of Windows Phones that will likely be able to run the next test build in a March 27 blog post.

The aim of the test builds is to elicit comments, questions and complaints from Windows users, looking at those preview versions of the upcoming operating system, that could help Microsoft fashion a Windows 10 that will have a broader appeal than its predecessor, Windows 8. Windows 10 is intended to run across a wide range of devices, from desktops and laptops to smartphones and more industrial devices.

The initial list of Windows Phones, which isn't 100 percent locked, according to the post, includes these devices:

  • Lumia 1020
  • Lumia 1320
  • Lumia 1520
  • Lumia 520
  • Lumia 525
  • Lumia 526
  • Lumia 530
  • Lumia 530 Dual SIM
  • Lumia 535
  • Lumia 620
  • Lumia 625
  • Lumia 630
  • Lumia 630 Dual SIM
  • Lumia 635
  • Lumia 636
  • Lumia 638
  • Lumia 720
  • Lumia 730
  • Lumia 730 Dual SIM
  • Lumia 735
  • Lumia 810
  • Lumia 820
  • Lumia 822
  • Lumia 830
  • Lumia 920
  • Lumia 925
  • Lumia 928
  • Lumia ICON
  • Microsoft Lumia 430
  • Microsoft Lumia 435
  • Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM
  • Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM DTV
  • Microsoft Lumia 532
  • Microsoft Lumia 532 Dual SIM
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 Dual SIM
  • Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM

(Several have noticed that the Lumia 930 isn't on this list. It seems there is some bug unique to the 930 that Microsoft is still trying to track down.)

The head of Microsoft's Windows Insider program, Gabe Aul, said that the required partition-stitching feature code required to support these phones came into Microsoft's main code branch late last week. Last week, Microsoft tested that code on individual devices inside the company. Aul also said the next test build will include support for phones that didn't have China Mobile operator support in the first test build.

"I cannot guarantee a date for a new build. What I CAN tell you is that we feel great here about the partition stitching code and current builds, but we likely still have at least one more week of engineering to do to ensure we get a great build for the expanded list of devices," Aul said.

Windows 10 will build in standards-based two-factor authentication to every device, effectively neutering most phishing attacks and password database breaches.

The original version of this story appeared at ZDNet under the headline "Microsoft's next Windows 10 Mobile test build on track to support majority of Windows Phones."