Yes, Windows 10 for PCs and tablets is coming out on July 29. And, yes, Windows 10 Mobile, the smartphone version, won't be released until later this year. But, if you can't wait, a Chinese Xiamoi smartphone user group, in partnership with Microsoft, has just released a Windows 10 Mobile ROM for the Xiaomi Mi4 Android handset for a select group of power-users.While you may not have heard of Xiaomi the company is China's largest smartphone vendor. The company has also recently started sales in Brazil and India.
Before this deal, Xiaomi had been exclusively using MIUI, an Android-based operating system, which had been accused of blatantly copying Apple's iOS 7 look.
Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive VP of operating systems, announced in March that "a select group of Xiaomi Mi 4 power users will be invited to help test Windows 10 and contribute to its future release later this year. These power users will have the opportunity to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview - installing it and providing their feedback to Microsoft."
Like most of the world, Microsoft needs all the help it can get to put Windows into Chinese smartphones. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Windows Phone has only 0.8 percent share of the Chinese smartphone market.
This new offer isn't likely to immediately help Microsoft's Chinese mobile marketshare, but it does show Microsoft reaching out to the country's power users. In addition, it makes it clear that Microsoft still wants a slice of the Android marketshare pie for Windows.