Short Bytes: Microsoft’s Windows phone lineup is a combination of some pretty impressive hardware and a struggling software. Looking at the recent developments, it won’t be premature to speculate a future where a Microsoft phone would run Android. Ditching Windows Phone feels like the right thing for Microsoft’s phone business and we can witness this development sooner than expected.
It’s a no denying fact that Microsoft has failed repeatedly at convincing people to use its mobile operating system. The latest shipment figures of Windows Phones show a constant decline and an overall 1.7% of the smartphone market share.
This misery was preceded by Microsoft’s Nokia buyout that has now been run on the ground and the company has lost about $10 billion on that deal. The smartphone company, that made classic phones like Nokia 1100, couldn’t survive the pummeling it received from iOS and Android.
If we start making a list of the problems with Microsoft’s phone business, it would be too long. So, why not talk about the ways Microsoft could save its phone business?
Looking closely, we can observe a gradual trend that shows Microsoft’s inclination towards Android. Yes, it shouldn’t sound weird to you if you’ve been keeping track of the recent developments. Even though Redmond is betting heavily on Continuum and its One Windows future, it looks like Microsoft has been quietly working a lot to support such possible switch in the future.
Talking more about acquisitions, Redmond has bought Xamarin and SwiftKey. While Xamarin makes it possible to run Microsoft’s .Net Framework and C# apps on Android iOS, SwiftKey was an app that was never made available for Windows Phone.
It’s not hidden that Microsoft is making more money from its cloud and server business. Ditching its platform-focused strategy, the company is already making Microsoft apps for consumer and enterprise. If you’ll ask me to give examples, I have plenty — Office, OneDrive, Skype, Cortana, SwiftKey, Office Lens etc.
Microsoft has already been working closely with Cyanogen since April 2015 to distribute Microsoft’s own apps and services bundled with Android. Cyanogen is working to deeply integrate Cortana into the next version of Cyanogen OS and plans to Android’s dependencies on Google.
Windows Phone is dying a slow death and Microsoft needs a lifesaver pill. We can see an Android fork from Microsoft in future years with Microsoft services deeply integrated inside it.
It’s possible that we could see some Surface-branded phones later this year or in 2017 before the company decides to close the Windows Phone chapter. Ditching Windows Phone feels like the right thing for Microsoft’s phone business and we can witness this development sooner than expected.