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Developer shows Windows 11 can boot from Android 13

Russell Kidson

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A developer known as kdrag0n has successfully booted Windows 11 from an Android 13 device. The new Android 13 operating system is still in its earliest stages, with a developer release launched just last week. Google predicts a stable beta should be ready around the time of the Google I/O developer conference, with a final build released in the fall of 2022. 

In the developer build, Google exposed a number of new features due to make it into the final release. One of these features is a far more stable virtual machine implementation. This is a protected sandbox where users can boot up other applications. It is within this new and improved virtual machine space that kdrag0n got Windows 11 running on a Google Pixel 6. This achievement on its own is impressive, but the implications of what kdrag0n has managed to do may be innumerable. 

Developer shows Windows 11 can boot from Android 13

However, how much kdrag0n’s achievement will mean to the average Android user depends on how easy it is to replicate. Google has created a new dedicated virtualization framework and protected kernel virtualization mechanism to ship with Android 13. Kdrag0n pointed out that he had to make a few tweaks to the developer release of OS to get Windows 11 working in the virtual machine.

If this requires developer knowledge and special access to developmental tools and features, it’s not likely to have an impact on Android in the broader sense. But, this achievement does at least hint at a future where your device and its operating system won’t be exclusively tied to one another. 

Microsoft has already instituted functionality that lets users boot up Linux apps from Windows devices, and soon that will be true for Android apps too. On the other side of the fence, Google has already allowed Windows to ‘run’ from Android devices through Windows 365. The word on the developer wire is that Google may actually bridge the gap completely and let Windows run natively within Android.

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