Microsoft is trying to persuade HTC to make new smartphones that run both Android and Windows Phone, and it’s willing to cut or eliminate its own license fee to make it happen. The software giant is hoping the move will encourage consumers to try out the Windows Phone platform and eventually make the switch to it — but could the scheme backfire?
“Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s operating systems unit, asked HTC last month to load Windows Phone as a second option on handsets with Google Inc.’s rival software, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private,” Bloomberg reports.
“Myerson discussed cutting or eliminating the license fee to make the idea more attractive, the people said.”
It’s understood the talks are preliminary at this stage, and the two companies are yet to reach a deal to bring Microsoft’s plan to fruition. But it’s hard to imagine how HTC could turn down the offer — especially if Microsoft is willing to provide it with Windows Phone licenses for free.
What’s in it for Microsoft?
HTC already makes Android and Windows Phone devices — though it hasn’t released a new Windows Phone device since June — and a smartphone that gives consumers access to both platforms would be a first. It would be a great selling point for the device, and it could attract Android users who are curious to learn more about Windows Phone — and vice versa.
But what’s in it for Microsoft?
Well, there’s the hope that the option to boot into Windows Phone will encourage users to try out Microsoft’s platform for the first time, and eventually switch to it completely.
There’s a chance the move could backfire in a big way.
It would also bump up Windows Phone sales figures and allow Microsoft to say that its smartphones have a larger share of the market — even if some of them are running Android predominantly. In turn, this should increase developer interest in the platform and lead to more apps.
But there’s also a chance the move could backfire for Microsoft in a big way. Not only could it encourage Android users to try Windows Phone, but it may also encourage Windows Phone users — who may have previously shied away from Android due to its “open” approach that has a certain reputation for attracting malware and malicious apps — to try Google’s platform for the first time.
When they do, they could end up deciding that the features Google has introduced in its latest Android releases, the wide selection of apps available for the Android platform, and the option of customization make it a better option than Windows Phone.
Would you buy an Android phone that could run Windows Phone?
After all, Android provides access to countless apps that still aren’t available on Windows Phone yet, including big names like Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Path, Flipboard, and Dropbox — and of course, Google’s own apps, like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and Chrome.
It appears the deal is still a long way off for now, though, so there’s a chance it won’t happen — Google may also decide to put a stop to it by refusing to certify an Android handset that runs Windows Phone as well. But what do you think of Microsoft’s scheme? Would you buy an Android handset that had the option to run Windows Phone?