AH Tech Talk: Microsoft May Allow Customer to Select their Device With Android OS

There is nothing I like better than going to an all-you-can-eat place - especially when they bring it to your table - because then you get to try a little bit of everything. In the "good old days" you actually ordered your car and customized it with the packages that you wanted - if you lived in Alaska, you didn't have to order Air Conditioning...if you wanted to shift gears, you didn't have to order an automatic transmission. After you placed your order, in about 4-8 weeks your very own "personalized" car would arrive, none of this buying off of the lot crap.

What if they could do this with everything, smartphones included - pick the device you really wanted to use and then pick the operating system to be installed on that device. If you really liked Nokia Lumia's smartphones and their awesome cameras, but you wanted no parts of a Windows Phone - no problem, have them put Android 4.4 KitKat on that bad boy - there is a possibility that Microsoft is considering doing just such a thing to help combat their Windows Phone's sluggish sales. According to The Information, it is not known whether the device will have Windows Phone 8 and Android or just select only one OS to be on the device.

It certainly is no easy task to throw more than one OS on a device - you would have technical issues with the manufacturers and the carriers would have marketing issues, but they can deal with that.  Windows Phone's hardware would have to be aligned with the same specs that Google requires for Android devices and Microsoft would have to come to that realization.

According to Bloomberg, HTC was also approached by Microsoft to see if they would load Windows Phone 8 onto its Android headsets as a way to allow their customers to use either OS on their phones.  In exchange for HTC doing this, Microsoft would possibly cut or waive their licensing fees.  They in the preliminary stages and no decisions have been made.

This does show to what lengths Microsoft will do to get their OS on a device...basically relegating themselves to the "second" OS.  HTC was the first manufacturer to offer both an Android device and a Windows Phone device, although they have not unveiled a new Windows-based phone since June and currently has no plans to introduce another, and why would they, really - the Android market has so much more sales potential.

Back in October, Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer, stressed that were interested in working with other manufacturers besides Nokia, and he really believes that Microsoft will really be able to ink a deal with those that previously focused on Android devices.  Like we said up above, but with no details, we are not sure whether an HTC phone would run both operating systems or if the customer would get to select just one.  Microsoft's purchase of Nokia was a business decision to make sure that they could procured a device that would guarantee that Windows Phone OS would continue to exist.

Microsoft and Google handle the way they license their software quite differently.  Microsoft charges a licensing fee for each Windows Phone sold, and also collects a royalty on each Android device sold due to patent settlements...to the tune of $2 billion a year, according to Business Insider. So it benefits Microsoft to have lots of Android devices sold as well as their own devices, and the Android dollars are almost pure profit. On the other hand, Google does not charge a few to Android phone makers, but in return, they agree to pre-install Google programs, such as Maps and Search.

This is an interesting scenario and the final outcome will not occur for a while - first Microsoft has to want it to happen and then the logistics have to be worked out on the technology side and OEMs, as well as the carriers. Will this tactic really introduce more people to the Windows Phone 8 OS or simply sell more Android devices - either way, Microsoft makes more money.

Let us know what you think about this scenario on our Google+ Page. Is this something you would like to have available on your next device - the chance to have both operating systems and do you see an advantage to the user, Microsoft, or Android.

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