Microsoft Reportedly Urging Samsung, Huawei to Put Windows on Android Devices

Last week Bloomberg reported that Terry Myerson, the head of Microsoft's operating systems unit, approached HTC about providing Windows Phone as a secondary operating system on Android phones at little or no cost to the device maker. Sources claimed that the talks were preliminary, and that no final decisions have been made.

Sources also claimed that HTC currently has no plans to make stand-alone Windows-based phones. The company was the first to separately produce both Android and Windows-based handsets, but hasn't launched a new Windows phone since June. Allowing HTC to provide Windows Phone as a second OS for free may not only rekindle the company's interest in the platform, but provide Microsoft an even larger audience.

Bloomberg's sources indicated that the technical details about adding Windows Phone as a second OS have yet to be ironed out. The sources were also unclear about whether the resulting HTC phone would run Windows and Android at the same time, or let users choose a platform by default. Myserson is reportedly planning to visit HTC's headquarters in Taoyuan, Taiwan this month to discuss his Windows Phone proposal.

Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and other executives reportedly met with handset makers during a trip to Beijing at the end of September. Sources claimed the company is pushing to keep strong relationships with handset makers despite its upcoming purchase of Nokia's devices and services division, and expects to win over those who previously focused on Android.

Now Russian journalist Eldar Murtazin claims that Microsoft has also approached Samsung and Huawei, and that Samsung is getting ready to release a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 2014 Edition that dual-boots Android and Windows RT, similar to the way the ATIV Q is set up. Samsung is reportedly considering a dual-boot smartphone as well, but hasn't made a final decision.

The report claims that Microsoft is offering Windows Phone for smartphones and Windows RT for tablets, both for free plus compensation for necessary adaption costs. Thus the Redmond company, at least in the case of ARM-based form factors, would be taking the Google route by offering its platform for free in exchange for platform exposure, possible ad sales and digital content sales.

Thus in a sense, Microsoft would gain a substantially larger market share simply by piggy-backing Android devices. Android dominated the smartphone operating system market in the second quarter with a 79 percent claim, followed by Apple with 13 percent and Microsoft with 3.7 percent. Samsung was the top Android device seller during that quarter, whereas HTC was ranked at #8.

Last month Samsung confirmed that its ATIV Q hybrid sporting both Android and Windows 8 Pro would not launch until 2014. Previous issues with patents led to speculation that the device was discontinued altogether. The tablet supposedly features an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage, and a 13.3 inch screen with a 3200 x 1800 resolution.

  • dgingeri
    "The sources were also unclear about whether the resulting HTC phone would run Windows and Android at the same time, or let users choose a platform by default."

    It would be nice to choose a phone on the hardware merits and then choose the OS for it. I'd love to run my HTC OneS with Windows Phone 8. It's a great phone, and I'd hate to give it up, but I want a Windows phone.
  • weierstrass
    How many GB of storage does Winodows need agin?
  • jwcalla
    In my case I would see this as nothing more than a waste of disk space. If I'm paying for a phone I'd rather just have the 64 GB or whatever. Then you have to worry about the carriers not willing to update the OS because it's too difficult, etc.

    Why would anybody even want this?
  • jimmysmitty
    A dual boot S4 would be nice. Hell I wouldn't mind a S4 with WP8 as my boss has a WP8 phone and loved how simplistic it was and I wouldn't mind jumping from Android for a bit as they keep poking more and more into what I am doing and where I am etc.
  • tekwiz00
    Windows on Android? oh no, don't want to see that happen, are you?
  • deftonian
    I wouldn't mind a dual boot tablet or PC, but not particularly interested in a dual boot phone. I'm sure some people out there could benefit from this though. Heck, I'm never against having options so even if I don't need it, I guess it wouldn't be a bad thing. Just make sure you put enough memory in the phone since it will require space for 2 OS.
  • schultzter
    Like weierstrass asked, how much space is the Windows OS going to eat up? And if I don't want it can I delete it?

    Besides, once I've started using one of the two what's going to happen to my data if I boot into the other?

    I don't think it's going to be like a computer where you can boot from one to the other as you please. I think it's going to be the kind of thing where you choose it once and then stick with it.
  • JD88
    I'm not sure how the OEM would benefit from this. Offering top line phones with a choice of OS is fine and a good idea. Sell the consumer whichever they prefer from the store then put the images of the alternates up so they can be flashed at any time as desired.

    However, I'm not so sure about a dual boot configuration. I'm not sure how that would ever really be useful unless you're just someone who likes to have Windows phone one day and Android the next. I highly doubt someone is just going to run Windows all the time then boot into Android when they needed some specific app. I think that would confuse the consumer. It would take up a lot of space on the device's storage as well with apps from both operating systems.

    Anyone who is itching to use Windows Phone should just try Launcher 8. Makes your android phone behave just like a Windows phone (actually better with more customization options) live tiles and all, with all of the apps of Android.
  • burmese_dude
    MS wants to coattail # of Android phone sales...
  • digiex
    "Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage, and a 13.3 inch screen with a 3200 x 1800 resolution."

    A tablet with this specs will be heavy as a brick. Will make owners healthy.