Microsoft invests in Cyanogen

Microsoft invests in Cyanogen
Bad-boy Android shop Cyanogen is reportedly getting an investment infusion from Microsoft to the tune of $70 million. In exchange, Microsoft would rank only as a minority investor in Cyanogen which apparently has a valuation in the “high hundreds of millions” of dollars.

While Android is an open source operating system, Google has been exercising more control over how manufacturers can leverage the platform and still be allowed to have access to Google’s services, like search, YouTube, and the Play Store.

It is that which has prompted Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster to offer up a bigger than life vision of a future Android platform that exists without Google, and apparently the company of 80 people has rallied as many as 9,000 software developers to participate in the creation of “Android-sans-Google.”

While it may seem like a conflict for Microsoft to write a big check when it has its own mobile platform to worry about, many analysts see Cyanogen as having a better chance at making itself a more relevant third ecosystem than Windows Phone. Also, Microsoft has successfully built its services to work across most platforms, so this give Redmond an “in” for enabling features like Bing in another mobile space.

McMaster says that more than 50 million people are using a build of Cyanogen version of Android. Including developing markets, analysts estimate that as much as 37% of Android shipments involve some type of “independent version” of the operating system. Cyanogen also expects to announce more deals with manufacturers like Micromax in India.

source: The Wall Street Journal

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74 Comments

1. MarquiX unregistered

O...mg. Gotta keep an eye on Cyanogen now.

2. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Would have been worse if it was Google doing the same.

10. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

with investment like this, it looks like even Microsoft doesn't believe in their own windows phone..

19. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Was wondering how long before such a moronic comment, guess the wait wasn't that long.

24. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

was wondering how long before the news starts pissing off blind MS fanboys , guess the wait wasn't long :P

28. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Why would the news piss of WP fans, its great news for tech in general.

40. sgodsell

Posts: 6855; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Microsoft projected for 2014 that 45 million WP devices would be sold. They actually sold 38.2 million WP devices, so Microsoft fell short by 6.2 million devices for the year. WP keeps on falling short. Oh, BTW Android sold 1.05 billion phones for 2014 alone.

43. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Falling short of projection is not the same thing as growing. last year the sold 35 plus million so while it did not mean projections it grew YOY, in the last couple of years WP sold almost 80 million units, its not Android numbers but it will do, now grow up.

67. sgodsell

Posts: 6855; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You know whats sad is CyanogenMod Android very soon will have more users then Microsoft's WP will have. That's just sad for Microsoft. Never mind the rest of the Android world. The other thing is Microsoft had Nokia X which was an AOSP version with Microsoft UI that resembled WP, and had only Microsoft's apps and services with no Google apps and services to be found on the device. Only Microsoft canned it. Now they want to work with Android again. Once bitten, twice shy.

61. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

And half of those units were not google variants, which is why MS as a software services company, will try to back the other portion to get their services. As well, if they are truly looking to make android/wp compatible, it would make sense to have a single MS store that non-google devices will come with and google devices can download via the google store. This will strengthen their own offering all while positioning their own services in the map/email/search sector.

42. sgodsell

Posts: 6855; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Why invest in an Android variant at all? Considering Microsoft's Nokia took AOSP and put their own twist on it, gave it a WP UI like interface with just Microsoft's apps and services with no Google services what so ever. They called it Nokia X and dropped it in less then a year. Once bitten, twice shy.

23. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Capitalizing on a secondary opportunity doesn't mean they're ditching their primary objectives.

25. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

yup , i didn't mean they are ditching Wp , just that they are preparing their other options , i couldn't edit in time to add the reasons.. i guess this is their Plan C Plan A - windows phone 10 , if fails then Plan B - Allow Android Apps to run on windows phone , if fails then Plan C - jump in with cyanogen with forked Android with MS services

29. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Windows 10 is one operating system across devices. The phone version isn't going anywhere.

37. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

nope they are not same .. it's just marketing that makes it looks same, while having many features in Common.. they are still 2 different OS .. 1 for Arm and 1 for X86 while having many of the features and development Core Code in common .. they have just made it easier for app developers to code once and run on both versions.. you can't run windows legacy exe apps on phones .. AFAIK

41. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

It is a single OS at the core with different variations depending on hardware variation, it is not two different OS, Its the world's first unified operating system that's designed to run on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/21/7868109/microsoft-stops-using-windows-phone-name

47. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

sorry i used the word OS , what i meant to say it has 2 different versions .. you can't run exe apps on phones ,like you can on tablets >8 and desktops.. 1 version is for arm ( less than 8 inches ) other is for x86 tablets and desktops with full legacy apps support and proper start menu

52. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

You can't run a desktop OS on such a small screen, hence the versions but yes its a single unified OS.

36. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Sorry, I could have been more thorough in my thoughts as well. I agree with you that this is part of the planning process, and having contingencies. However, I think we differ in our outlook on Microsoft's strategy. For me, Microsoft's Plan A is having their services available to the most consumers possible in the most places possible. Given this assumption, Windows Phone 10 is a subset of Plan A. Furthermore, it would make Cyanogen also a subset of Plan A, and here's why: Microsoft isn't capitalizing on the Cyanogen situation by keeping it as a back up in case Windows 10 fails, nor is it intending to use it as a means to enable Android apps on Windows Phone. On the contrary, this is an opportunity to get Microsoft's own services further integrated into the Android operating system. Microsoft WANTS Cyanogen's Android to compete with Google's Android, and they want to make their services a central point of that competition. At least that is my take on this whole situation. That seems like the best strategy for Microsoft in forming whatever relationship it has with Cyanogen right now.

46. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

+1 for your Post Sir "For me, Microsoft's Plan A is having their services available to the most consumers possible in the most places possible" this is where we differ .. their focus has always been in increasing market share for windows phone .. to make WP successful , to make it a real competitor against Android as a 3rd OS no matter what costs and how much time it takes to make it successful it was more about OS war than it was about getting services to consumers and hence they kept Office exclusive to WP for 4 years or so and persisted With it even though it has been a failure till now what i am saying is it looks like Microsoft doesn't believe in this strategy anymore and if wp10 doesn't make big noise then they aren't going to push the WP OS war... and might join with cyanogen for a forked Android OS that integrates MS services at its core as a replacement for Wp.. but before that i think they will allow android apps to run on WP as a last option before pulling the plug from that strategy http://www.itworld.com/article/2872634/microsoft-might-let-android-apps-run-on-windows-phone.html

50. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

While I understand your reasoning, Satya Nadella has made it clear since he joined Microsoft that the priority is services. Opening software like Office, OneDrive, Here Drive, etc. to other platforms is not a cry of despair. Rather, it is a strategy to get more users using Microsoft's services, and then converting those users to Microsoft's operating systems. As far as I can see, there is no plan B beyond Windows and Windows Phone. Instead, everything that they're doing is strategic in trying to funnel more market share to WP, much of which is long term planning. So I think we both agree there, that Microsoft's focus has always been increasing market share for WP. My contention to you would be that their other valuable software properties and services go hand in hand with that, and therefore one can understand making services the priority at this juncture. I don't think Cyanogen with Microsoft services is meant to replace WP; I think it is meant to A) get more people using Microsoft's services and B)weaken the Android stronghold on the market by helping divide it into factions.

26. Gp_Customs

Posts: 269; Member since: Jan 14, 2015

Lol. The no apps and games platform. But way much better than iOS.

31. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Learn to count.

35. krulll

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

1 billion in Samsung to make windows phones 70 million to cyanogen use Microsoft services You born this way or your mother troops you in the floor?

5. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Let's all keep an eye on the buggiest, most unpolished ROM out there. CM was good on the Android 1.6 to 2.3 after that it turned into an unpolished turd.

38. uchihakurtz

Posts: 427; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

True that, CM used to be the s*** on 2.3, now they're just meh and buggy. Hell, they never went into a stable CM11 (KitKat), let alone CM12. Slim ROM and Paranoid FTW

3. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Smells nefariously familiar.

17. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Well I won't be surprised if Google ditches Android and create their proprietary "closed sourced" OS. As time goes by, Android is giving a lot of headache to Google.

53. sgodsell

Posts: 6855; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Sure buddy. Its a real pain to Google with 1.05 billion Android phones sold in 2014 alone. That sounds like a real headache for Google. I mean that is a billion people in some form or another using Googles apps or services. Google should just give it up and get rid of Android. Make something else before they loose all 81% of the global market.

56. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Well buddy, no one lasts forever.

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