Jul 15, 2014 01:34 AM EDT
It's no secret that Microsoft's Windows and Windows Phone platforms have far fewer apps than competitors such as Android or iOS, but how does Microsoft plan on catching up? Well, if one leakster is right, then the old saying "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" is about to ring true.
According to well-known tipster @evleaks, Microsoft is planning on releasing a Lumia phone that runs Android. That's it. No other details were given, and there's certainly been no confirmation from either the Microsoft or Nokia camp, so be sure to exercise the proper amount of skepticism. Still, @evleaks does have an admirable track record, so the issue is worth looking into.
Big news: Android-powered Lumia incoming, from Nokia by Microsoft - http://t.co/KKLstDDVVO
- @evleaks (@evleaks) July 7, 2014
Microsoft completed its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia earlier this year in April, and the Lumia series has been a Windows-based partnership ever since late 2011. It will be interesting to see whether Microsoft is willing to give up pushing its Windows Phone platform in return for hardware sales, as Android contains and vastly greater fan and app base in the United States. According to an IDC forecast, Android should finish 2014 with around 80 percent of the global smartphone market while Windows will only garner 3 percent.
This isn't the first time a faltering mobile operating system has tried to cling on to Android's success. BlackBerry tried a similar approach with BlackBerry 10 when it allowed Android apps to run on the operating system. Little that did for the once-almighty smartphone OEM.
As Ars Technica points out, what are developers supposed to think? If they can code Android apps that will eventually be available in the Windows marketplace as well, why bother coding for Windows only? It's a real question that Microsoft might not like the answer to.
Still, despite the fact that Android might pose a direct threat to Microsoft's Windows interests, the company has stated that it is open to the possibility. In fact, rumors of Microsoft allowing Android apps to run on Windows platforms began surfacing earlier this year and the company has been supportive of the Nokia X, a Nokia phone that runs Android.
"More users of our applications and services is fantastic. If someone is (using an iPad), I hope they really are using Office and OneDrive and Skype, on that iPad. That is a fantastic Microsoft customer. It's great for Microsoft. The same will be true of Nokia. I genuinely feel that way," Microsoft Executive Vice President of operating systems Terry Myerson said in an interview with ZDNet earlier this year.
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