While Windows Phone 7 has now more or less established itself as the 'third' ecosystem in the smartphone space, there was a time before it. Before Metro – and even before iOS and Android were available. For the better part of the last decade, Windows Mobile was one of the biggest smartphone platforms out there, among the admittedly few people that were already using smartphones in the early 2000s.
Its interface may now seem clunky and, frankly, unusable, but at the time it was a very powerful OS that brought over many of the concepts of desktop Windows. It was also extremely customizable, and had a thriving modding community – which is exactly why we're pretty excited to see Windows Mobile 6.1 running on an HTC HD7, a Windows Phone 7 device.
Famed developer Cotulla, who is responsible for many Windows Mobile and Windows Phone hacks (he was also among those that ported both Android and Windows Phone 7 onto the HTC HD2), has released a video that shows Windows Mobile 6.1 running inside Windows Phone 7, and from what we can see everything works pretty well. Performance seems to be no worse than on 'real' Windows Mobile devices, though obviously, you shouldn't expect any nice UI effects – remember this is an old operating system that was designed for stylus use. The video also shows a video playing in TCPMP, a popular video player on Windows Mobile, and a basic 2D game, which all work pretty well without any lag.
Especially nice about this port is that it runs on top of your existing Windows Phone 7 system, thus you can use the app switcher to multi-task between Windows Mobile and Windows Phone apps. This does remind us a bit of how the traditional desktop has been integrated into the upcoming Windows 8, where the desktop is basically just an app that coexists between other Metro-style apps.
However, bad news if you're waiting try this out on your fully unlocked first-gen Windows Phone – this hack is currently limited the first-generation Snapdragon processor and doesn't support the newer Snapdragon found in second-gen Windows Phones: all we have, for now, is that video embedded below. We don't know yet whether and when this hack is going to made available for public consumption, but the devs mention that they will also be porting the slightly newer Windows Mobile 6.5 in the future, so it's definitely worth to stay tuned.
Watch the video here.