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Can I Upgrade a Windows Mobile to WP7?

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/16/2011

There's no chance of being able to install Windows Phone 7 on an old Windows Mobile device - unless the device in question is an HTC HD2...

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    HTC HD2 and the HTC HD7

    Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 mobile platform is available on a range of devices from HTC, LG, Samsung and Dell. Among these manufacturers, HTC have released the most handsets, with the HTC HD7 probably the most impressive with its 4.3” screen and slimline profile.

    However, a close look at the HTC HD7 will put you in mind of another device, the HTC HD2. When Windows Phone 7 was first announced there was speculation that the HTC HD2 would be the only existing Windows Mobile device capable of running the new mobile platform, but his was soon overruled as the handset has too many buttons; Windows Phone 7 devices must have 3 buttons on the facing side of the phone.

    Despite this, the internal hardware – notably the 1Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor – is sufficient to run Windows Phone 7, and since release of the new mobile platform development has taken place to port it to the HTC HD2.

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    Can My HTC HD2 Run Windows Phone 7?

    The HTC HD2 can run Windows Phone 7! Without a doubt, a fully functioning HTC HD2 can run Windows Phone 7. Thanks to the efforts of developers found in the community, the new mobile operating system has been ported and reportedly runs with considerable success.

    As the highest-spec Windows Mobile device, the HTC HD2 features a large screen, a fast processor and lots of onboard memory, ideal for installing Windows Phone 7.

    While installing Android on such a device usually involved dual-booting the two operating systems, WP7 can exist on its own, allowing you to interact with the various hubs and download and install software from the Zune Marketplace.

    There is a clear advantage here – an HTC HD2 can be picked up for around $300 while a new HTC HD7 will set you back twice this amount.

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    Things to Consider – Problems and Pitfalls

    Despite all of the positives, there are some downsides to running the new mobile operating system on the older HTC HD2 handset. Following the initial release of the ROM there was a problem with accessing Xbox LIVE and the Zune Marketplace, although these issues have apparently been overcome.

    So what’s the problem?

    Well, it’s a case of licensing. If you have an HTC HD2 and install the Windows Phone 7 operating system on it, you’re breaching the licence conditions of the OS by not purchasing it – it’s piracy, effectively.

    That isn’t all, however. Since the problems accessing the Zune Marketplace and Xbox LIVE have been resolved, there is now an increased likelihood of users being “caught out” using the operating system on an unapproved device. Furthermore, associated Xbox LIVE and Windows Live logins might be the subject of action by Microsoft if they take the view that using the HTC HD2 to run Windows Phone 7 is against their interests.

    While you might have cause to upgrade a HTC HD2 for research purposes (when you already own a HTC HD7 or other WP7 handset), if you want to change the default operating system, the only legal way to do it is to install Android.

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    • Author's own experience.
    • Image credit: HTC,