The issue of HTC producing devices that will dual boot Windows Phone and Android is becoming seriously blurred, and it feels like a lot of blogs have gotten the wrong end of the stick. The issue, will HTC be making, devices that can have Android and Windows Phone co-existing side by side, and users choosing on a daily basis which OS they will run?
Or is it possible that the suggestion by Terry Myerson, was more along the lines that HTC make hardware that can, on user preference be loaded with either Windows Phone or Android at the ordering stage?
The initial report from Bloomberg, that has caused all the speculation, and rumour alluded to
cutting or eliminating the license fee” required to use Windows Phone, Microsoft is willing to let HTC add Windows Phone as a secondary operating system on its Android-based smart phones. It’s not clear whether that would create dual-boot devices, or if Microsoft would require Windows Phone to override Android on existing models
As an article that quotes un-named sources close to, what? it cites only one useful thing, that at some time in the future, Terry Myerson will be talking to HTC about some sort of deal to waive licensing fees for Windows Phone, in an attempt to keep the Taiwanese OEM producing Windows Phone devices.
It has led to all sorts of third party speculation, citing HTC’s recent losses as a cause for their possible receptiveness to the idea. Something doesn’t ring true about the whole rumour though, and there seems to be little mention of the elephant in the room, that may have some thing to trumpet about the idea.
The Idea that HTC and Microsoft are so desperate for an option to pull their mobile business out of the doldrums, HTC because of flagging sales across the board, and Microsoft because they aren’t planning to go big producing their own hardware with the acquisition of Nokia, seems ludicrous. What though, if anything would Google have to say about this? That seems to be the missing link in all of the speculation.
Just the thought of Windows Phone and Android dual booting on the one device, seems to signal the end of the world, I’m sure it’s in the Book of Revelation! Yes Microsoft makes a whole lot of dough off of Android licensing, but they have really little or no sway over Google, and it is very hard to imagine the two existing side by side amicably on the one device.
What most people seem to be missing is that the new supported specs for Windows Phone, with the upcoming GDR3 update will include support for Quad core CPUs and 1080p screen resolution, bridging the gap in hardware that has been a sticking point, one of the things that a lot of Android users have denigrated about existing Windows Phone devices.
So with Google not even commenting on what would be a major concession by one of it’s OEM partners, who seem to be in the financial doldrums anyway, and the expectation that HTC will spend money adapting it’s designs to be able to run either Windows Phone or Android on it’s hardware, the situation gets all Alice in Wonderland, “ Curios and Curioser”.
Talks are said to be “preliminary,” with operating systems head Terry Myerson planning a visit to Taiwan to discuss the proposal in more detail. In addition, outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer visited China last week in a bid to secure licensing deals with new partners, as the company looks to avoid a situation in which Nokia — which Microsoft is in the process of acquiring — is the sole Windows Phone partner
The fact is once the deal for Nokia is over, Microsoft, and Windows phone would be in a much weakened position if it’s current OEM partners jumped ship, and a company like HTC who need positive growth now, are very likely to jump ship. While Windows phone growth has been very strong in Europe, and parts of Oceania, HTC’s major market resides in Asia central, and Android is their mainstay in that market. It’s easy to see why OEM’s may feel it is not worth the risk to take Windows Phone into 2014 when they will be competing with Microsoft themselves.
At this stage the leaked info from the original Bloomberg article are speculation and rumour, they are about talks that have not, but may happen, and suggestions of what those talks may contain. It’s obvious that Microsoft needs to offer an incentive to HTC to keep making Windows Phone devices, they need to sweeten the pot. After a long relationship, it is possible that HTC feels that they have been left out in the cold, especially considering the emphasis that was placed on that relationship at the HTC WP8 launch, a year ago!
It’s worth reiterating though that I believe that this just means using HTCs android made hardware to run WP8 now that MSFT has updated WP8 to work with 1080P and Quad-cores..
Will Microsoft sweeten, reinforce it’s relationship with HTC to keep them pumping out their own style of Windows Phones?