Since Microsoft appointed a new CEO in the form of Satya Nadella last year, we've seen the company open up its services more so than ever. They've partnered with Dropbox to offer something else besides Office 365, they bought Microsoft Office in bits to Android smartphones and tablets and there are more apps than ever being developed by Microsoft for Android and other platforms. In fact, this adoption of Android has sort of left Windows Phone users out in the cold, Windows 10 is perhaps a good reason for that though as the company is releasing a new version of Windows this Summer that will run a similar codebase across smartphones, tablets and traditional computers.
Windows 10 is something Microsoft is hoping will get mobile users interested in Microsoft services again, and to do that they've chosen an interesting partner; Xiaomi. It's been reported that Microsoft is working on a build of Windows 10 that will run on Xiaomi's Mi4 smartphone. Those familiar with Xiaomi know that while the MIUI software is heavily customized, the Mi4 relies on Android in order to even function. What Microsoft is hoping to do is to offer a sort of custom ROM for users to flash Windows 10 onto their devices. This is an interesting concept and Xiaomi is quick to remind people that this isn't a partnership, but that Xiaomi is merely offering help to Microsoft. Hardware has long been one of Microsoft's biggest struggles, and it's even worse in China where big name brands like Lenovo, Huawei or ZTE don't offer a single Windows Phone device.
Producing a ROM for users to give Windows 10 a try could work, and it'd work better in China than elsewhere in the world as users in the Far East are used to customizing their devices a little more than here in the West. Microsoft is hoping that their services, such as Outlook, the Microsoft Store, Xbox and of course Office 365 will wow users into thinking that Windows 10 is the way to go. We have a few months before we see the final release of Windows 10 though, and there's no telling whether or not users will want to turn their Mi4 devices into Windows 10 devices. It's an interesting idea, and one that Microsoft elaborates in a statement below:
"As part of the Windows Insider Program, Microsoft will partner with Xiaomi to offer Windows 10 free downloads to a select group of Xiaomi Mi4 users. Xiaomi Mi4 users will get the ability to flash their phones with the new Windows 10 OS and provide feedback to Xiaomi and Microsoft on their experience. This partnership will allow Xiaomi and Microsoft to get direct user feedback and continue to improve the experience for China. Microsoft is thrilled to see Xiaomi embracing Windows 10 and offering this great value to their customers. We're excited to see the feedback we receive from this audience.
Xiaomi is a leading phone manufacturer in China undergoing significant global expansion. We are excited to partner with them in China and jointly gather feedback from Chinese users on their experience with Windows 10 to jointly collaborate on product and services development for the platform.
Availability will be announced in the months to come."