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Mod Brings Old-School Windows XP to Android

The recently-released XP Mod for Google's Android platform will bring a little nostalgia to your smartphone or tablet, as it replaces the home screen with a Windows XP desktop. It doesn't actually stream a desktop to the device like Splashtop, but rather replaces the Android's original launcher, bringing a little old-school to a modern handheld device.

Currently in beta, XP Mod loads with the familiar Windows XP welcome screen and chime. The taskbar stretches across the bottom, planting the green Start button at the left and the system clock to the right. Pre-loaded shortcuts include My Documents, My Computer, Recycling Bin and Internet Explorer, but don't let the latter link fool you -- it merely loads up whatever browser is set as default, not Microsoft's version.

The Start Menu is just as it was long ago, only several links are currently not functioning. The All Programs link lists every app installed on the device whereas My Computer leads to the expected Explorer screen featuring two "hard drives" -- these include Local Disk (everything on SD card outside the SD card folder), and Storage (all folders inside the SD Card folder). My Music, My Documents and My Music folders all reside within the SD Card folder for better file management.

The drawback to this mod is that it features desktop style resolutions. That means on smartphones, the icons will look tiny, making them hard to press accurately. The experience should be ideal on a larger tablet although currently the XP Mod only provides a landscape view -- sorry, there's no portrait. The mod also doesn't work well on Amazon's Kindle Fire, as the taskbar is broken up and not functioning.

So far the mod shows promise. It incorporates whatever wallpaper the Android device uses, and it even makes the logoff chime wen the device goes into standby mode. Navigation buttons don't work yet, and neither does Control Panel, Printers and Faxes, Windows Media Player and others. App shortcuts also can't be added to the desktop, leaving only the four main "programs."

For more information about XP Mod, head to the XDA Developers page here. The launcher can be downloaded from Google Play here.