Microsoft released the first Windows Phone 7 emulator a few weeks ago, and that was enough to give people a good idea of how the operating system will look. But the emulator was designed to run on a PC with an x86 processor, so there was no way to install it on an ARM-based phone or really dissect the way it will work with mobile hardware.
And that’s why it’s kind of exciting that the first ROM from an actual mobile phone has leaked onto the web. XDA-Developers forum member 911sniper has posted a ROM taken from an upcoming device called the HTC Mondrian.
At this point, the ROM isn’t all that useful for end users. If you tried flashing it to an existing Windows Mobile smartphone, odds are you’d end up with a dead hunk of metal, plastic, and glass. Odds are that if it’s possible to port it to an existing phone, the hackers who have already begun examining the ROM will probably start with the HTC HD2, which has hardware that’s pretty similar to what we expect to see from the first Windows Phone 7 devices planned for later this year.