Microsoft has struggled to get Windows Phone into the hands of consumers for some time now. Most countries around the world only have between a 1% and 5% market share of Windows Phone, while Android consistently outperforms Windows Phone with nearly 80% of worldwide market share. There are a number of reasons Microsoft’s mobile platform hasn’t made significant dents in competing platforms’ numbers, but probably the biggest one is app selection. Pick up any Windows Phone and browse the app store on it and you’ll quickly find that many popular apps on Android and iOS simply aren’t available on the platform, and looking at the top 10 reveals older games like JetPack Joyride still sitting in the #3 spot as of yesterday, March 12th. Then there’s also sheer platform variety that’s lacking too, as Nokia seems to be the only platform to be found anywhere, especially now that Microsoft owns the hardware division of the Finnish company. With all these factors in mind what is an OEM to do that’s still trying to garner success with its Windows Phone phones? Dual-boot the most popular mobile OS in the world of course! Yes that’s right, the Chinese manufacturer Huawei is entering into a brave new world of dual-booting phones and is committed to using as many mobile operating systems as needed to achieve their goals. Speaking in an interview with Trusted Reviews Shao YAng, Huawei’s Chief Marketing Officer, said that “With Windows Phone, one direction for us – and one that we are now following – is dual OS. Dual OS as in Android and Windows together.” This is being done because they are still committed to Microsoft’s platform but want to see greater success with those devices as a whole.
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Speaking further on the issue he added that “If it is Windows only, maybe people will not find it as easy a decision to buy the phone. If they have the Android and Windows together, you can change it as you wish and it is much easier for people to choose Windows Phone.” It’s pretty clear that even Huawei doesn’t have full faith in Windows Phone in general, but is dual-booting really the answer? Microsoft’s mobile OS is a smooth and cohesive experience, no doubt, but does anyone really want to manage contacts and apps between the two on the same phone when nearly nothing works together or seamlessly? Remember there are no Google services on Windows Phone, and as such you won’t have a GMail app, can’t sync your Google contacts easily, and basically don’t have access to anything you do on the Android side of things without some finagling. Windows 8.1 is expected to debut at Microsoft’s Build conference next month and will usher in a new series of changes to add functionality to the OS, so it’ll be interesting to see whether or not Huawei sees success with these devices. We’ve seen many laptops already do this sort of thing and it didn’t make Microsoft very happy, and even recently we’ve seen that Google is opposed to this tactic as well. With no one on the software side of things happy about the fusion of mobile operating systems, will anyone but the manufacturer win in this case? We’ll see in the coming months as Huawei shows off these devices and gets them on sale, particularly in the US where the Huawei name isn’t well known and hasn’t even been sold for some time now anyway thanks to Huawei pulling out of the US market some time ago.