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Microsoft Reportedly Seeks To Put Windows Phone On Android Devices

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the one-way-or-another dept.

Cellphones 182

quantr draws your attention to a Bloomberg report that Microsoft has reached out to HTC to see if the company would be interested in adding Windows as a second OS to its Android handsets. From the Bloomberg story: "Its willingness to add Windows as a second operating system underscores the lengths to which Microsoft will go to get manufacturers to carry its software. HTC, the first company to make both Windows and Android phones, hasn’t unveiled a new Windows-based handset since June and has no current plans to release any more, said one person. Microsoft, with 3.7 percent of the market, is finding it necessary to make concessions after agreeing to acquire Nokia Oyj’s handset unit, which competes with other smartphone makers. [Microsoft operating systems head Terry] Myerson was planning to visit Asia this month and meet with senior executives at Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC to discuss his proposal, one of the people said."

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182 comments

Wrong way round. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046221)

Android on Lumia, that'd be an offering.

Re:Wrong way round. (5, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 7 months ago | (#45046307)

Funny you should mention that. Guess what Nokia was doing before Elop showed up [zdnet.com]?

Re:Wrong way round. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046439)

According to a few inside accounts, Elop originally wanted to have Android on Nokia phones. When Elop visited Google's HQ, he was rather surprised how hostile Google was to him. Google was willing to give a decent licensing fee if Nokia used the stock Android firmware but were charging hand and leg if Nokia were to add their own features to the device. According to rumors, Google was being complete jerks about it too.

When we heard about that account, we all assumed that Elop's "burning platform" was Symbian and he was going to put all of his efforts in MeeGo. When he made the Windows Phone announcement, we all knew it was the end of Nokia.

Re:Wrong way round. (4, Informative)

tibman (623933) | about 7 months ago | (#45046521)

You are incredibly misinformed. It costs nothing to put android on a phone (even for a phone manufacturer). The manufacturer has to get a license to put the play store on the device, but that is about compliance. If nokia wanted to do their own thing then they wouldn't have had to spend a penny or ask anyone's permission. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)#Licensing [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wrong way round. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046561)

Except for this part:

Even though the software is open-source, device manufacturers cannot use Google's Android trademark unless Google certifies that the device complies with their Compatibility Definition Document (CDD). Devices must also meet this definition to be eligible to license Google's closed-source applications, including Google Play.

Google doesn't certify your phone if you put in new features it doesn't like. You can make a phone that can run Android apps (like BB10) without paying a dime, but you can't call it an Android Phone unless Google approves of it.

Re:Wrong way round. (2)

larwe (858929) | about 7 months ago | (#45046581)

That's only technically true. It costs a lot of resource-hours (=money) to port and qualify Android onto a phone platform, and to get it carrier approved. The carrier approval processes are Byzantine and expensive beyond belief.

Re:Wrong way round. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046783)

Carrier approval is utterly irrelevant except in North America where you have corporations making the laws. Anywhere else people can just buy a phone and use it.

Now obviously the North American market is a good place because it's full of suckers who will cheerfully pay you $50 per month for two years to buy a $500 phone, but it's not necessary. If you can't recoup the cost of deliberately arcane "Carrier approval" processes from the money those suckers will pay you then you simply don't sell into America.

Re:Wrong way round. (0)

larwe (858929) | about 7 months ago | (#45047041)

I'll only post the tl;dr version of a response here: Show me a viable mobile ecosystem with significant world marketshare that is not originated from and centered around the North American market.

Re:Wrong way round. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047073)

I'll only post a tl;dr version of a response here: All of them. North America is the follower in the mobile space, not the leader.

Re:Wrong way round. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047157)

Europe and Asia. Now what?

Re:Wrong way round. (1)

tibman (623933) | about 7 months ago | (#45047427)

I totally agree with development costs. If HTC wanted to make an android phone, they'd likely have to use parts that already have linux drivers or they'd have to pay a team to write them. But i feel like i should also point out that this benefits everyone. Open source drivers are a big thing. I don't think you can use this as a point against android though. No matter what the OS was, they'd have to get drivers to interface with the phone hardware. But i completely agree that there are costs involved with it.

Re: Wrong way round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046523)

So basically you don't really know how The Open Handset Alliance works regarding licensing and thus fell for this FUD that someone told you.

Here's a hint: there are no licensing fees.

Re:Wrong way round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046533)

Any pointers to find those? Sounds like an interesting read, if it's true.

Re:Wrong way round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046653)

Little bit of insider information, most of it is from that Wall Street Journal article from around Jan 2011 talking about the decision. I can't find the article right now and there is a chance they may never have published it online.

Re:Wrong way round. (4, Insightful)

geoskd (321194) | about 7 months ago | (#45046831)

Little bit of insider information, most of it is from that Wall Street Journal article from around Jan 2011 talking about the decision. I can't find the article right now and there is a chance they may never have published it online.

Translate that as: I'm lying out my ass, and will duck any attempt to call me out on it...

Re:Wrong way round. (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 7 months ago | (#45046411)

I don't care personally what OS the computer (which some people call phone for no good reason) originally came with. I want to be able to swap it at will. But this is not the case for some reason. Hardware should not be locked down just because the computer is called a phone. It's a computer and you as the user should be able to do what you want with it. This doesn't of course mean that a company like Apple has to support this, but they should at least not actively prevent it like they do now by locking down the bootloader using encryption and digital signatures. Let the user decide, and provide documentation so that those who want can make it work.

Re:Wrong way round. (2)

larwe (858929) | about 7 months ago | (#45046513)

I agree in principle, but it's really not that simple. There are carrier approval issues - these have nothing to do with the phone vendor, they're inserted by AT&T et al. Common, obvious example: AT&T doesn't want you sharing your monthly data allotment between devices unless you sign up for a freakin' expensive shared data plan. So they don't want firmware on your phone that will allow tethering without checking to see if your account has the magic "this guy is allowing us to assrape his credit card with shared data fees" flag. Hence, they mandate locking and such. If the vendor wants to sell to AT&T, they insert the crippleware... I doubt any phone vendor will ever again have the leverage Apple created for the iPhone.

Re:Wrong way round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046529)

Well then I hope you don't mind paying the full cost of the hardware plus markup. Whether you approve of the business model or not, hardware manufacturers price their locked hardware based on an assumption that they will be able to recoup costs and make a profit with future software purchases or phone plans.

Re: Wrong way round. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046427)

My android phone freezes like Win95. It's like they never wrote an OS before...

Re: Wrong way round. (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about 7 months ago | (#45047143)

My android phone freezes like Win95. It's like they never wrote an OS before...

Hardware / firmware issue. Common newbie mistake.

Re: Wrong way round. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047461)

The current uptime on my Galaxy S3 is 617 hours. I usually reboot it once a month or so because otherwise the t-mobile app complains about it when i go into it. Sounds like you have a crappy phone or firmware. I don't recall it ever freezing since I've owned it, but I suppose it's possible.

Re:Wrong way round. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046551)

I remember a Samsung Ativ S (very similar hardware to S3, but with Windows) selling for around 200 euros unlocked in Slovenia, because nobody wanted it. I searched all around to see if I could somehow install Android on it, but I discovered I couldn't, so I didn't buy it.

Really asking the wrong people the wrong way round (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047319)

Instead of asking HTC if they want to lose some money alongside and thanks to Microsoft.. They should ask do I want a windows phone.. and its still the same answer it was every time I bought an android phone. Why make something if you already know almost nobody wants it?

Will they allow the reverse? (4, Insightful)

wjh31 (1372867) | about 7 months ago | (#45046229)

To be able to have the choice of OS on your device is a good thing, maybe you like the S3 but like windows OS. or you like the nokia lumia hardware but prefer andoid. Now its never going to be allowed to happen with iphone/iOS but choice of OS on other devices can only be a good thing

Re:Will they allow the reverse? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046251)

Don't be silly, they're never going to do that.

Re:Will they allow the reverse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046305)

True that

In other news... (5, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | about 7 months ago | (#45046329)

IBM has contacted Apple to see if they want to put MVS on the iPhone, complete with a punched card interface.

Re:In other news... (1)

Theovon (109752) | about 7 months ago | (#45046389)

Haha. However, it's interesting to note that an iPhone is much faster with tons more memory than the original IBM mainframes that ran MVS. Actually, I'm surprised someone hasn't written an OS/360 emulator for the iPhone. Actually someone probably has...

Re:Will they allow the reverse? (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#45046395)

choice of OS on other devices can only be a good thing

BAD OR MISSING NTLDR. CANNOT CALL 911.

Abort/retry/ignore? _

chickens roosting (0, Troll)

globaljustin (574257) | about 7 months ago | (#45046527)

Microsoft's chickens are coming home to roost and I absolutely love watching it happen...M$ is desperate...this shows how much...

Their OS's are horrible products. From the 80s to now, Windows has been generic level quality at best.

Their business model, since the 80s, has been to bottleneck features and kill interoperability to **force** users to use their software.

This is the result of having that business model. Anyone in business who has the same model (facebook.com, etc) will, with certainty, suffer the same fate eventually.

Microsoft is now a digital beggar of a company...

Re:chickens roosting (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 months ago | (#45046713)

This includes Apple as well.

Re:chickens roosting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046957)

Oh yes, look at apple beg.

Idiot.

how about them... (4, Interesting)

globaljustin (574257) | about 7 months ago | (#45047145)

This includes Apple as well.

I'm trying here...so I'll give you partial credit. You're definitely begging the question, but it is important to acknowledge that other companies make similar mistakes as M$ (though they are not as bad).

Apple's design flaws are just as annoying as any other design flaw.

The question is, what about Apple's process allowed them to do right what M$ did wrong?

As others have pointed out, Apple is the exact opposite of M$: a successful and popular company. There is no debate on that point worth having.

So what about Apple kept them from screwing up as bad as M$?

> Was it Steve Job's megolomania combined with good design choices and lucky market conditions? Any CEO can pound their fist and force their way, but just by law of averages, when JOb's did it, it had marginally better results in the end product, perhaps?

> Is the answer in the engineering department? like where they actually write the software...,did they quietly refuse to do things like Internet Explorer tried to do in the 90s?

> Lack of the government contracts forcing them to innovate at Apple? See, M$ only exists b/c IBM needed a lackey to put stripped down PC boxes on every government office desk...M$ was the operating system....credit Gates for profiting by leveraging his govt contracts into forcing users to use his product...but...that didnt' really encourage R&D. Apple had to fight to survive

Re: how about them... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047367)

Apple's success is due to them not having written their own OS. They spent many millions in the late 90s trying to develop a replacement for the MacOS with modern features like preemptive multitasking. They basically gave up and bought NeXT in the end. They really aren't good enough at that sort of coding as they demonstrated when they poured millions trying. The choice came down to NeXTStep or BeOS.

They also aren't able to design a robust removable battery compartment for a pocketable device. Their last attempt at that was the Newton and it was terrible. Designing a robust battery compartment is NOT a trivial task.

Apple is good at a few things. Chiefly marketing and bundling bought-in tech.

Re:Will they allow the reverse? (1)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about 7 months ago | (#45046591)

You can already get what is basically the Galaxy S3 with Windows Phone, its called the Samsung Ativ S. I think Samsung makes it as a concession to Microsoft, as they seem to sell very few of them. I would love to see smartphones become more PC-like, with multiple OSs available on each model and more hardware standardization, so custom ROMs become simpler.

I'm pretty sure Microsoft means this as a one-way-street, though, don't expect to see a Lumia running Android any time soon. Too bad, the Lumia product line had excellent hardware (I bought a 620 for a Mac-user non-techie family member's first smartphone, we're both extremely happy with it) and I even came to like some things about the OS. However, WP is such a loser in the market that going exclusive killed Nokia.

Re:Will they allow the reverse? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 7 months ago | (#45046735)

Amusingly enough, the ATIV S was also the first WP8 device to have its security cracked open; an "interop-unlock" hack (not quite root, but much closer than before) is available for it, but not for any other non-Samsung WP8 handset at this time.

Re:Will they allow the reverse? (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 7 months ago | (#45047097)

Lumina is slower, single core, and has more limited ram. Only the higher end models would run Gingerbread decent.

Windows runs better on that hardware for most models

Never buy HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046237)

They are unrepairable low quality Chinese crap inside. Yes, I worked in repair shop.

Re:Never buy HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046623)

One data point: I have an HTC Hero 200. The power button's paint chipped off right away. That's the only problem I had, though.

Re:Never buy HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047083)

HTCs are one of the few phone lines not made in China, dumbass.

This is simple numbers pumping (5, Insightful)

larwe (858929) | about 7 months ago | (#45046267)

Microsoft has played games with numbers to pump its supposed Windows market share many many times. For instance, if you're a big corporation and you buy 10,000 machines with Vista installed, but backlevel them to XP, Microsoft counted those as Vista sales. This "dual boot" bullshit is almost certainly the same nonsense. HTC has a bigger market share by itself than all the Windows Phone devices in aggregate (I believe). Anyway, it's the #3 smartphone vendor behind Apple and Samsung. It's also in really dire trouble financially, or at least so the news-sphere seems to indicate. So, they're hurting for cash and might be willing to accept some cash to load Windows on their Android phones as dual boot. Practically nobody will use Windows, but Microsoft will be able to claim those dual boot handset sales as "Windows sales" and fake the numbers to make it look like Win Phone is growing in marketshare.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (5, Funny)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 7 months ago | (#45046405)

I would be interested. I get real Onenote support and better integration for exchange at work. On the weekends its android time. Metro may suck on a big computer screen but is fine for cell phones.

The Windows kernel is lighter than linux and snappy too.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046457)

The Windows kernel is lighter than linux and snappy too.

Bwahahahahah, GTFO, you're killing me.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (2)

Threni (635302) | about 7 months ago | (#45046639)

> The Windows kernel is lighter than linux and snappy too.

Smaller? Faster? Giggles... Uh.. I mean "citation needed".

Actually, smaller's not that important as clearly Linux has a rather successful footprint. Is "snappy" a way of saying "fast, but not faster than linux"? Being smaller but unsuccessful isn't really anything to shout about.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 7 months ago | (#45047147)

The fact that it runs on low end luminas with 512 megs of ram and single core cpus and runs decently where gingerbread wont even boot is why I wrote that. I have a galaxy s1 with similiar hardware with the exception of a dual core arm and its barely functional with Android 2.3 which is obsolete.

Windows 8 kernel uses less than 20 megs of ram. Try having linux run with that

Windows is not vista or xp anymore. They have gotten their act together with the exception of Metro. 8.1 runs on 10 year old systems fine with the exception of a real video driver.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047233)

Linux (or at least Android) certainly isn't one to brag about 'snappiness'.

Reviews (I just watched one of the new Huawei quad-core smartphone tonight) consistently point out that Android phones have more lag and choppiness than iphone and winphone, even on devices with more CPU and GPU 'oomph'.

To be honest this isn't such a big mystery - there has always been a lot of noise about how the kernel (especially re. the scheduler) was tuned more for efficiency than responsiveness, and the graphics framework / driver situation on Linux is as dire as always (no, inventing yet a new abstraction layer does _not_ help anything)..

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 months ago | (#45046733)

The problem that needs to be solved is closed products like Exchange. Sorry, but trying to get better integration with products like that at the cost of the ability to use other operating systems is a very bad idea.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047121)

I like the way you are thinking, what would be even better is if the phone ran a hypervisor on the bare metal and hosted as many android and/or win-phone vms's as you like. Then you could switch between your multiple OS's like apps, and BYOD would be trivial since you could just load the standard corporate VM locked down so it can only save data to an encrypted virtual disk and when you need to leave they just scrub that VM off and your personal OS is not touched.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about 7 months ago | (#45047163)

I would be interested. I get real Onenote support and better integration for exchange at work. On the weekends its android time. Metro may suck on a big computer screen but is fine for cell phones.

The Windows kernel is lighter than linux and snappy too.

Odd ... but at least one cloud provider has a minimum Windows image of 2G memory, as compared to Linux mininum .5G. Not sure what is meant by "lighter", but I don't see it from a resource utilization standpoint.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047515)

Those include tons of shit in addition to the kernel.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046519)

Given that HTC is a massive hunk of shit as a company, these two were made for each other. Who cares if it's mutually assured destruction.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (1)

niftydude (1745144) | about 7 months ago | (#45046553)

Just what we need. Another microsoft tax. It's already hard enough for me to buy a decent laptop without paying licensing for a windows OS that I'll never use, now this is going to start happening to phones as well?

No thanks.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (1)

larwe (858929) | about 7 months ago | (#45046573)

Heh. Yeah, I hear that. Do you remember the days when computers used to be loaded with a dual OS choice of Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and Windows 95? You had a onetime choice at boot, and the unused operating system got deleted. I hope at least the dual boot Android/Windows phones do the same - so the gigabytes of unwanted Windows crap get deleted when you pick Android at power up. Of course, they won't...

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (3)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 months ago | (#45046747)

How about these days where installing Windows will still kill your Linux boot. You'll either need to repair your boot configuration or install Linux after Windows instead of before. Microsoft does not play well with others, and in general is not to be trusted.

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046975)

WIN8 even kills other Windows installations! Since installing it on my "tinkering" multi-boot machine, Windows 8 updates have taken out a Windows 7 partition, two instances of Windows XP and a Hackintosh. Thankfully I recovered the XP partition that I use to program PICs but the rest were write-offs.

Interestingly, it hasn't been able to hose any of the Linux partitions (yet).

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 7 months ago | (#45047055)

Well, they could pump the numbers by including a Windows Phone software license with every Windows 8 license sold for PCs. So if you buy a new laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed, and later decide to buy a Windows Phone device, you don't have to buy the Windows Phone software license . . .

. . . or they could couple the Windows 8 PC license with a Windows Phone device, so if you want to use Windows 8 on your PC, then you have to buy a Windows Phone device . . . but wait, there's still more . . .

You get a Windows 8 software license, a Windows Phone device . . . and they'll throw in a Surface, as well . . . all for one affordable price . . . (items not available separately) . . . and . . .

. . . the Spiral Slices and the Ginsu Knife!

Re:This is simple numbers pumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047449)

the real reason Microwsoft is doing this is because lots of phone vendors bought into Windows Mobile 6.x and did the hardware design/work but nobody bought them. They did the design and work for Windows Phone 7.x but nobody bought them and then Microwsoft jumped to Windows phone 8.x and made the previous designs obsolete so the OEM's said no way no how on doing more hardware and phone designs and have to eat those expenses and harm their brand with phones which don't sell.

It was also harmful that Nokia take over with Mr Elop and the Nokia-Microsoft partnership. And now we have Windows Phone phones not even cracking 10% of the market so Microsoft is back out to the OEMs asking if they would be interested in putting Windows Phone OS on some of their existing hardware.

desperation is what it is.

Oh, "BeOS" has come back to haunt Microsoft (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046321)

Oh, if only the license terms for Android FORBID dual booting, and allowing the user to make such a choice.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/02/20/be_inc_sues_microsoft/

Trust Microsoft??? (5, Insightful)

jonsmirl (114798) | about 7 months ago | (#45046335)

My memory is fuzzy on this, but I believe Microsoft took Toshiba to court and made them stop dual booting Linux on their laptops about 20 years ago. At the time Toshiba owned a Linux distribution so they prevented Toshiba from shipping their own code.

This is the same Microsoft that is extorting everyone over unnamed Android patent infringements.

Why would you want to work with them? Every company that works with them ends up dead or wounded.

Re:Trust Microsoft??? (1)

jonsmirl (114798) | about 7 months ago | (#45046365)

Just for fun Google should put those exact licensing terms Microsoft used against Toshiba into their Android license.

Re:Trust Microsoft??? (2)

larwe (858929) | about 7 months ago | (#45046479)

You know, I totally forgot about the Microsoft "we own critical Android patents" moneysucking. Lest we forget, Microsoft has (according to external analysis) earned more money from royalties on those patents, as shipped in Android devices, than they have on WinMo licenses. Anyway - the very simplest move Microsoft could make here is to tell all the vendors "make Win Phone a dual boot option, at no cost and the Android patents are free". Presto, massive free expansion of the number of devices with Win Phone installed - of course, it would be negligible expansion of the number of Win Phone /users/, but some marketroid inside Microsoft would make his annual numbers and get his bonus and get promoted.

Re:Trust Microsoft??? (1)

jonsmirl (114798) | about 7 months ago | (#45046557)

They need the subsidize the extra 32GB of flash needed to hold Windows Phone too.

Then we can delete WIndows Phone and use the 32GB flash.

Re:Trust Microsoft??? (1)

larwe (858929) | about 7 months ago | (#45046611)

Given the history MS has of pouring marketing dollars down the toilet, this is actually totally believable as something that might happen.

No one wants your hack of an OS. (0)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 7 months ago | (#45046367)

No one cares about your 2-bit phone attempt, no matter how good you think the UI is, to the extent that people would rather write monoliths in java or obj-c than deal with your shit.

From HTC's perspective (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 7 months ago | (#45046373)

HTC has had trouble getting traction against Samsung despite offering compelling hardware. Offering a dual-boot phone might give them a competitive advantage with some subset of buyers... although I'm guessing it'd be a fairly small number.

Re:From HTC's perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046403)

If it's anything bigger than a very small number, I suspect Microsoft will let Samsung sell dual-boot phones as well.

Re:From HTC's perspective (4, Insightful)

chowdahhead (1618447) | about 7 months ago | (#45046453)

Collaborating with Microsoft has historically been the kiss of death, however. I just don't see anything helpful coming out of that--there's certainly no consumer interest in WP and any capital injection would be a short term band-aid. HTC needs to narrowly focus their product line, not target every market segment like Samsung, and build brand recognition. Their hardware is good and their software support has greatly improved. They just need their name and logo out there more, and in a way that people associate with smartphones.

Re:From HTC's perspective (3, Interesting)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about 7 months ago | (#45047257)

I just don't see anything helpful coming out of that-

For a site dedicated to nerds, there's an utter dearth of imagination...and memory.

See kids, back in the day, HTC made this little phone called the HD2. It shipped with Windows Mobile 6.5 and was intended to ship with Windows 7, but Microsoft told them "no can do" for the sole reason that it has an inconsistent hardware button configuration with the rest of the Windows Phone 7 handsets. However, because of the intended dual-OS compatibility, HTC released a phone that was impressively consistent and relatively easy to flash. This lead to the development of MAGLDR and CLK, which were alternative bootloaders that enabled users to flash Windows Phone 7 (unofficially, though completely functionally if you can get MS to give you a product key), Android (more versions of Android than any other handset; everything from Froyo to Jellybean and I think some of the earlier versions were available, too), Meego, Ubuntu, FirefoxOS, and proof-of-concept compatibility with WP8 and WinRT. To this day, it has one of the most active communities on XDA, certainly moreso than any other phone that was sold during the same time period.

When HTC builds a phone to boot a pair of OSes, especially ones as different as Windows Phone and Android, odds are better than ever that HTC will end up shipping a phone that's more mod-friendly than most of the phones that ship with just one OS, even a Nexus. Don't you think that there's something "helpful" about a phone that is sufficiently hackable that it can have its software kept current long past its EOL date according to the carrier? I do.

While we're at it, I know that hating Microsoft is cool around here and all, and yes, I do walk around with an Android phone because a phone without a user-exposed file system is a dealbreaker for me, but are we seriously going to sit here and say that it's better for Google/Samsung and Apple to each have ~50% of the market rather than having Google/Samsung/HTC, Microsoft/Nokia/HTC, and Apple all having ~33% of the market a piece? I always thought competition was a positive situation, and even if HTC gets screwed over by Microsoft somehow (like they did by not being able to officially software upgrade the HD2), it still means more mod-friendly phones for everyone - something I thought that a group of people who like installing Linux on everything with a processor would appreciate.

licencing "cost"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046375)

If Microsoft was paying Nokia $200 per phone, for putting Windows on it, I don't think HTC will settle for a free Windows licence.

I guess a replacement for my 2009 Debian-Linux Nokia N900 is getting unlikely. I better start looking for a few second hands ones that I can use for spare parts...

Re:licencing "cost"? (3, Informative)

Teun (17872) | about 7 months ago | (#45046583)

http://neo900.org/ [neo900.org]

Smooth upgrade. Finally!
The Neo900 project aims to provide a Fremantle (Maemo 5) compatible successor of N900, with faster CPU, more RAM and LTE modem, basing efforts on an already existing, mature and stable free platform - the OpenPhoenux GTA04.
We'll provide both complete, ready to use devices in N900 case, and motherboard replacements for your current device. Neo900 will also support all operating systems available for GTA04 (QtMoko, SHR, Debian, Replicant, ...)

Let me get this straight (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 7 months ago | (#45046383)

So instead of OEMS only caring about Windows, designing hardware only tested for Windows, only supporting Windows, signing Windows in the hardware boot device,and even including Windows where someone has to manually go into the bios and install a second bootloader to run Linux has now changed to carriers only caring about linux, designing phones just for linux/Android, only supporting Linux, and even signing linux to run Android on top, now has to listen to an angry MS who feels its soo unfair that no one will even stock their products on the shelf nor care and are begging just for the opportunity to dual boot! ... No cost too as well according to NEOwin!

Wow. Couldnt happen to a nicer company. It is amazing how fast this happened. Windows CE was gearing up for a monopoly and beating blackberry just a few years ago to. ... well this?

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

larwe (858929) | about 7 months ago | (#45046675)

Waiiit... Apart from in one of Ballmer's wet dreams, when on earth was WinCE (or its descendants) ever en route towards monopoly status?

Re:Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047441)

In the early-mid 2000's, before the iPhone became a thing. By 2004 WinCE had well surpassed Palm and had been increasing for years. The iPhone both caused the smartphone/PDA to become something normal people bought and dethroned Windows at the same time.

just give up already (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046505)

Windows on mobile has been a failure for years now. It's be nice if they'd realize this and just go away.

Re:just give up already (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046841)

I have been skeptical of Windows Phone over the years. As a former iPhone user, I was afraid of vendor lock-in that happens with all of Apple's products, and I wanted something robust that was more than a toy. I switched to Android phones but I am getting tired of the fragmentation and slow interface. I am currently dealing with tons of spyware on my Android phone. The phone was top of the line with my carrier just eighteen months ago, but it no longer receives updates. Worse, it is littered with malware and spyware, a common occurrence in the Android world per the testimony of my acquaintances. Now it looks like GMail is spying on my email through what Google calls "targeted advertising." Enough!

Luckily I am due for an upgrade soon. I have been to a local phone store to try out all of the phones, and the ones that really impressed me were the Microsoft Lumia Windows Phones. Not only were they built with the highest quality materials, but the interface is phenominally clean and quick. There are live tiles which allow information to flow to my home screen without wasting space or causing clutter. Sure, the Microsoft Application Store is young and may not have 500,000 apps, but it's quality, not quantity that I'm worried about. I just need about a dozen or so well written programs to conduct my daily business. Windows Phone is the fastest growing smartphone percentage wise, so the app store will only get better. Plus, I look forward to being able to edit my documents on the fly with Microsoft Office on the way in to work. With a trusted name like Microsoft and Outlook.com, I also don't have to worry about being "Scroogled" and having my personal email targeted for advertisements.

I can't wait to join the growing number of smartphone users who are making the switch to Windows Phone. Windows Phone 8 is a great OS that provides excellent value for money. I would recommend this phone to everyone. If you value privacy and quality, Windows Phone is the way of the future!

Re:just give up already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046883)

Good work. Your check is in the mail.

-- Ballmer

Re:just give up already (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 7 months ago | (#45047125)

Complaining about lack of updates for android? think of all the poor suckers who had windows phone 7, or windows mobile, both of which got dropped leaving users with existing handsets high and dry...

And MS have always been worse than apple when it comes to lock-in.

Close but no cigar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046515)

My GT 8750 Ativ S screams for Android!

Underscoring the lengths, for the win! (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 7 months ago | (#45046537)

"Its willingness to add Windows as a second operating system underscores the lengths to which Microsoft will go to get manufacturers to carry its software.

Now that they have underscored lengths, will that... er... um... what?

willingness to add... underscores... to which ... will go... to get ... to carry

For the advanced student: Parse this into the canonical <subj><verb><predicate> form. 10 points.

HTC, the first company to make both Windows and Android phones, hasn’t unveiled a new Windows-based handset since June and has no current plans to release any more, said one person.

Which person is that?

Microsoft, with 3.7 percent of the market, is finding it necessary to make concessions after agreeing to acquire Nokia Oyj’s handset unit, which competes with other smartphone makers.

Apropos of nothing, which of these is the main verb?

Myerson was planning to visit Asia this month and meet with senior executives at Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC to discuss his proposal, one of the people said."

This is Bloomberg, right? Are they supposed to be good at writing?

Wave of the future (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 7 months ago | (#45046577)

This is the why it is supposed to be. People should be free to install whatever operating system they want on their phones like they do their PCs.

Sooner all this proprietary / OS imaging for specific devices garbage ends the better for everyone.

Google must take this seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45046615)

Google must take this seriously. Android much be better so user did not feel needed to switch to windows mobile. lets make android much better by giving suggestion and critics

trust microsoft == trust the NSA (4, Insightful)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 7 months ago | (#45046887)

if you are going to run Windows Phone, you damn well better accept that MS and the NSA will have full access to everything on your phone and will set it to record all your conversations.

this used to be tinfoil hat area but now it's a probability.

Re:trust microsoft == trust the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047093)

Conversations are recorded by your mobile provider anyway, why MS would need to help with that?

Re:trust microsoft == trust the NSA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047417)

I think it's pretty clear google, from the beginning, was a government enterprise.

Google's search algorithm was not particularly unique. At the time, it was processor and memory intensive. Where did some Russian Jews get the money to build google so quickly, with such speed that it put Altavista to shame? The major advertising project of Digital Equipment Corporation, then the third largest server company in the world?

You aren't safe anywhere, and Microsoft is the least of your troubles these days.

battery life (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 7 months ago | (#45046949)

Will I get a longer battery life from using Android or using Windows Phone?

seems like something worth knowing.

Windows Mobile (1)

HangingChad (677530) | about 7 months ago | (#45047005)

Windows Mobile is the Zune of wireless technology. Who would want to junk up perfectly good storage space on a mobile device with windows?

Quit trying to make Windows Mobile happen, it's not happening.

Re:Windows Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047155)

Windows Mobile no longer exists.

Windows Phone does.

If it works on desktop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45047065)

Why can't they get all the necessary drivers for every phone out there and let the user install WP8? Smartphones are less diverse nowdays than pcs ever.

Re:If it works on desktop... (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 7 months ago | (#45047549)

Exactly. Somebody with a US Galaxy S3 should be able to go to qualcomm.com, navigate to Support -> Downloads -> Firmware -> MSM8960. Then, navigate to Radio Modems -> [AT&T | T-Mobile | Sprint | Verizon | US Cellular | Rogers | Telus | Fido | Whomever], download the latest radio modem for our carrier, back up, then navigate to SoC Support -> Android -> {kernel-version}. From there, we'd be able to download individual kernel modules (some with buildable source) as we saw fit. Or, for the Windows-inclined, go to SoC Support -> Windows -> {version}.

This is on top of being able to go to samsungusa.com and download their more user-friendly monolithic installer for Android or Windows Phone. It would be just like buying a laptop... you could download the official drivers from the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer was an asshole, go straight to the chipset vendor and get the raw reference drivers to tweak yourself.

There's absolutely NO technical reason why it can't be this way. There's nothing holy or sacred about ARM that makes it impossible. It's just that we, as consumers, allowed phone manufacturers to get away with a level of locked-down proprietary-ness that would have been considered utterly intolerable in the PC realm. All we can really do is wait for Intel to get its act together, and make it possible for somebody to cobble together an x86-architecture PC with radio modem drivers that work and aren't crippled with respect to LTE (plain GSM isn't good enough), then "help" a manufacturer or two in Shenzhen to mass-produce 2GHz(*) quadcore circuit boards that can do HSPA+ and LTE on international, Canadian, AT&T, and T-Mobile bands(**), then make them available to smaller companies who'll assemble them in various ways into actual phones for sale.

(*) a 2-GHz quadcore Intel-architecture CPU on par with an i3, let alone an i5 or i7, would absolutely SMOKE and DESTROY a 2GHz ARM performance-wise. ARM might be frugal, but comparing an i7 to an ARM Cortex A15 is kind of like comparing a Lexus LFA to a Hyundai Elantra (or a Tesla Roadster to a Chevy Volt). If you want a basic phone, go with ARM. If you want realtime-raytraced translucent-glass eyecandy and glasses-free 3D (like the HTC Evo3D had), i7 (with 6,000+mAH battery) all the way. ;-)

(**) Maybe Verizon, if they can be bullied into allowing it. Sprint isn't even worth bothering with.

Might be interesting if... (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 7 months ago | (#45047223)

If you could share all data between the two OSs without any extra work: pictures, movies, contacts, calendar, etc... If all of that synced between the two that might be interesting. If that is not possible, then I don't see how the proposition makes the slightest bit of sense for an end user. Assuming both would be used on occasion, it would be a confusing mess.

It might be interesting, but not for me. A friend of mine works for a carrier so I get to demo and thoroughly play with all the phones and I can confirm - mostly unbiased that Windows phone offers an inferior experience, but that's another post for another article.

For free and in a VM inside Android with Office? (1)

drolli (522659) | about 7 months ago | (#45047421)

A free "Windows Phone App"

I would like that.

Any other thing (Dual-Boot, Choice at start-up, something else messe up, additional cost): Dont like that

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