Microsoft to team up Windows OS and Android in HTC phones

26.11.2013 Nicky Herak
If you can’t beat them, join them, or at least that seems to be the sentiment in Microsoft these last couple of days. With its CEO leaving by the end of the year, the company is already signaling quite an overhaul, both in terms of management and strategy. For one, it’s rumored that Microsoft may be looking outside of the company’s walls for a new CEO, as one high executive of Ford is speculated as a possible replacement for Steve Ballmer. But even more surprising is the new direction their smartphone business seem to be heading in, and since the tech giant has certainly been struggling with plunging stocks in the last decade, any new wrong turns might mean the end of the road for the legendary company. So, yeah, no pressure.

The switch in the strategy comes in the form of an unusual proposal to another smartphone maker, HTC. The Taiwanese company has hit a rough patch itself, reporting a $100 million loss this quarter, so it’s probably more than ready to adopt unconventional business models to try and dig itself out. Enter Microsoft, which is offering HTC the possibility of adding Windows to their Android devices. Although we’re still in the early stages of negotiation here, this does indicate that Microsoft has finally decided to wave a white flag to the Google’s Android OS, the most widely used smartphone platform in the world. It is still unclear how the two operating systems would interact in a single phone, whether dual-booting would be allowed or if the user would have to choose one default setup.

But probably even more surprising than Microsoft admitting that its’ Windows OS is no match to the free Android, is the fact that the offer to HTC seems to come with no strings attached. That’s right, Microsoft is even following Google’s business model, giving away the software for free, and then probably profiting from ads and subsequent services. With the Windows OS grabbing only 4% of the market share in the US and a somewhat larger presence in Europe, something obviously needs to be done, and HTC seems like a logical place to start, since they have built a Windows phone before, but haven’t been planning to do so again anytime soon. So if we are too look at Android for tips, this might just be the thing Microsoft needs to finally become a major player in the smartphone market. And if we are to look at Microsoft itself, they probably have no other choice but to.

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