Microsoft wants Windows on HTC's Android phones

Microsoft, it seems, is desperate to get its Windows Phone software onto more smartphones. With that in mind, it has asked HTC to load Windows omit its current phone portfolio.

But let's get this straight. This isn't a case of Microsoft asking to replace Android on HTC phones. According to Bloomberg and 'people with knowledge of the matter', Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s operating systems unit, asked HTC last month to load Windows Phone as a second option on handsets with Android already installed.

As an added incentive, Myerson discussed cutting or eliminating the license fee, those sources said. What did HTC say? So far, not a lot, with the same insiders saying that talks are merely 'preliminary' and no decision has been made. More talks are planned with senior HTC executives this month.

HTC was the first company to make both Android and Windows phones, so it's perhaps logical for Microsoft to approach that company first with the idea, which on paper, isn't a bad one. With HTC not currently planning a Windows launch, this could be a good way for Microsoft to boost market share, which is currently at a measly 3.7 per cent.

Killing off the licensing fee could be an attractive option for HTC, with Microsoft currently and previously charging handset makers a license fee for every Windows Phone sold. By contrast, makers of Android devices don’t pay Google, they instead agree to preinstall the company's services such as search and maps on Android-based phones.

It isn't the only tactic Microsoft is using to boost usage of its mobile platform. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer and other executives met with handset makers last week during a trip to Beijing, with Microsoft keen to work with partners other than Nokia. As a result, other deals are said to be in the pipeline for new Windows-based hardware.

2014 certainly could be an interesting and indeed, busy year for Microsoft if it all works out. Although it has still to convince us, the mobile buyer, that its operating system is the one to use. That's the hard part.

Source: Bloomberg

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