Sizzling hot rumor: Microsoft dropping Windows Phone for Android?

Sizzling hot rumor: Microsoft dropping Windows Phone for Android?
A hot, hot rumor is circulating on Monday night. According to the rumor, Microsoft is giving up on Windows Phone and will turn to Android instead to power its handsets. The rumor states that Redmond will offer Google Play powered devices bolstered by Microsoft apps. In return for dropping Windows Phone, Microsoft will receive from Google versions of Google Maps, YouTube and Search, all designed for Windows.

Things are happening in Redmond where Microsoft has agreed to sell part of Bing Maps to Uber. The company also agreed to close its Web display advertising business, turning it over to AOL and AppNexus. Just the other day, in a letter to employees, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company needs to prepare to make "tough choices in areas where things are not working."

In addition, as we pointed out the other day, Microsoft is making noises as though it is getting ready to make a massive write off of goodwill. Doing that would make it easier to sell or spin off the phone handset business. Keep in mind that this is just a rumor for now, and with Windows 10 Mobile  scheduled to start rolling out this fall, it seems hard to imagine that Microsoft would decide to put the kibosh on the updated platform without giving it a fair shake first.

We will be watching this closely in the days and weeks to come. Whatever Nadella decides, there will be reverberations felt throughout the Googleplex in Mountain View and in Waterloo, Ontario. The latter is home to BlackBerry.

Obviously, you should be taking this story with more than just a grain of salt.


source: @MSFTnerd via WMPoweruser, Bloomberg

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87 Comments

1. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Wow this could be a revelation. I just said this is exactly what they should do. Drop Windows Phone, skin the UI on top of Android and sell it.

23. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

WP fanboy heads would implode if it happened.

33. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2453; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Once again, I think people are misinterpreting "Google Services" to mean that the company will drop their OS in favor of Android. This same sort of rumor was passed around about Blackberry. What I believe it REALLY means is just that: Google services on a Microsoft device. What do you need to run Google Services such as the Play Store? A certain amount of preloaded Google applications. It makes sense to have the Play store available on the device in exchange for hosting preloaded Google applications, however I denounce the rumors that these companies (Blackberry and Microsoft) are abandoning their respective OSes in favor of Android. Both have poured millions of dollars in their software that it's too early for them to pull out. I think instead what both companies have realized is that it no longer makes sense for there to be so many competing app stores and that it may be best to just hop on board with Google Play. Both Blackberry 10 and the upcoming Windows 10 Mobile have both shown support for Android applications.

71. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

I would generally agree with this more than anything but I fail to see how Google Play will work on a Windows phone. My understanding of Android apps running on Blackberry is that the experience is pretty lacklustre for a number of reasons. My biggest worry is that they'll throw Google Play on Windows Phone and then the Microsoft Store will tank, which is bad for MS, and everyone will use Google Play to download non-native apps and the experience will be so crappy for users that Windows Phone dies anyways.

76. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

Android apps running on a BlackBerry are not lackluster at all. I have a BlackBerry Passport as my daily driver and I can honestly say that isn't the case. Do the native apps run better than the Android ones? Of course. But Android apps run just about as smooth on a BlackBerry as they would on an Android handset on 4.3. I agree with Dr. Phil. I think this is a case of Microsoft either adding Google Mobile Services to Windows Phone or adding an Android runtime. I don't think Microsoft is going to tank Windows Phone anytime soon, if at all.

84. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2453; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

The reason for that is because when Blackberry runs Android applications it runs it in a separate sandbox, so to speak. This is what causes the lack in performance as you would find on an Android device because it's having to basically load the application on it's own space separate from the rest of the device. The pros of this is, of course, that your device remains secure. Now, whether Microsoft will choose to do that with their devices remains to be seen. Also, since the Passport and the Classic have square screens, applications on those devices are sometimes blocked off so they can fit on the screens. This is why you see some people complain about gaming on the Blackberry Passport and Classic. I don't think they would get rid of the Microsoft Store for various reasons including the fact that Windows Mobile 10 is built around the idea of continuity where your desktop apps work on your tablet and work on your mobile phone. Therefore, there will STILL be a need for the Microsoft Store, however I'm betting that you will find a majority of your "mobile only" apps on the Google Play store.

57. Plutonium239

Posts: 1232; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

There would be no point to that, then it would lag just like android does and would be less secure.

63. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Please join us in 2015, thanks.

101. Plutonium239

Posts: 1232; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Sorry, I prefer my phone to not lag after 6 months of having it(like every android(and IOS) device does, sometimes sooner than that). I do not like having to do factory resets often just to keep the device running as it should be. My friend who has a galaxy s6 already had to factory reset it twice since he got it when it came out. Not to mention the fact that Android is vulnerable to malware that can steal information, and Windows Phone is not. Windows Phone(now Windows 10 mobile) does not lag and is far more secure than lagdroid.

61. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

They're not that good at building phones either but at least app select will be better

83. waddup121 unregistered

Lets do it windows!

2. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I hope this isn't true. We need more choices, not fewer.

25. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I was thinking about this: yeah, competition is generally a good thing for the consumer, but what does WP bring that actually spurs Android and iPhone to do better? Is MS really doing anything to compete, or are they continually playing catch-up? Also, consider the opportunity cost of continuing their smartphone division: what else could they be funding to help the industry instead of funneling money into a bleeding division?

34. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yup. Gotta remember they are in this to make money. If the Xbox One wasnt doing as well as it is...even with the sales lead the PS4 has...we would see more 'XBox division might get sold' articles.

41. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Firstly imo the OS itself on a core layer is simply better. If you move away from apps, which were originally designed because of crappy web standards of the time, you have what? Desktop? Linux which google cannot make a dime off of? A market that will not shift over night no matter how cheap chrome OS is. The new windows is not a separate division, that was the whole point of lumping it together. It is a unified OS with different arms, instead of teams that did things and modified the code so that one app only worked in one place. What this is most likely doing, is not that MS is adopting android, I can fully see a much cheaper license agreement for android patents (remember 300+ of them, 200 according to china research that are required for your android to even function, including sms), and having google develop its services as a universal app. Seriously, with the app ecosystem, and the steam roll of win10 that will not be stopped with it being free. Do you think Google is going to ignore the 1billion+ potential devices out in the wild? Hell technically by last count google only had 500million active androids smartphones, despite the number of 'shipped' androids. Not to mention webapps can now be distributed through the store as a universal app. Google poised to make a splash on halolens, VR occulus, and xbox one for the center of peoples mind attention.... While it hasn't happened in the past, imo google can no longer ignore the universal app advantage as a customer service base.

50. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Look like some one is starting an unrelated rumor. We will see what's is what in 2016 or 2017. In the meantime, let me enjoy my Android this and Android that.

54. sgodsell

Posts: 7456; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Linux which google cannot make a dime off of? What do you think Androids heart is? Android sits on top of Linux. BTW in today's world no other OS can come close to the versatility, scalability, and the amount of hardware support that Linux has. Windows isn't even close. Also look at IoT right now, Linux has already dominated IoT. These are facts. Look it up yourself. You talk about universal apps and its ecosystem. You do realize that Microsoft still has to build up its ecosystem with universal apps right. Do you even know what universal apps are? Real universal apps are apps that can work on Windows PC, XBox, tablets, and moble and are agnostic apps (they don't care about the hardware they are running on). Also what do you think Android has? Androids apps have been agnostic (universal like) since it was first introduced. Now Android has a vast agnostic ecosystem of apps, roughly 1.6 million apps. How long do you think it will take Microsoft to build up 1.6 million universal apps? "Do you think Google is going to ignore the 1billion+ potential devices out in the wild? Hell technically by last count google only had 500million active androids smartphones" So last year Android alone sold a billion Android smart phones (that is not including Android tablets). Now this year (2015) Android is suppose to sell close to 1.2 billion smart phones. So where did you get that number of only 500 million active Android smart phones? BTW why do you think Microsoft has made Windows free in the first place? It's because Microsoft is trying to stop the spread of Android which has been free since day one. Not to mention Apple's OS is free on Macs as well. Microsoft's biggest seller was always Windows OS itself. The company that can no longer ignore Google is Microsoft themselves.

81. WallStreetWolf

Posts: 289; Member since: Apr 08, 2013

Lets not call Android agnostic when it does a poor job with tablet specific apps and a lackluster interface on a standard laptop or desktop. 1 billion were shipped. That does not mean active users. Of course Android has a lot of users, but shipping devices is not the same as them landing in a customer's hand. I don't mind Android one bit. I have enjoyed Android phones and tablets over the years, but I never dismiss what the competition is doing. Microsoft is breathing life into its operating system and people should be excited to see something from a competitor rather than poo pooing it because we enjoy living in the Orwellian state of the mobile industry.

86. sgodsell

Posts: 7456; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Do you even know what agnostic even means? It means the apps are not tied to any hardware. This is what Microsoft and Apple are now trying to achieve with Universal apps and Swift apps. But Android has been their since day one, and has the largest ecosystem in the world of agnostic applications. So how far along is Microsoft's and Apples ecosystem with agnostic applications? We both know the answer to that one. Its not very far. Its not like the apps convert themselves over automatically. Yes 1 billion sold for just Android alone in 2014. I did not say shipped. So you completely ignored what I said about 2015 with roughly 1.2 billion going to sell (not shipped) for Android. I agree with you competition is good. However elitewolverine was telling lies and spreading incorrect information. So I will correct anyone who does not get their facts straight, which includes you. Also if we lived in an Orwellian state of the mobile industry. Then there would only be one mobile OS to control them all. However we know today that there is several. If any platform is really good, then it would grow on its own merits. Clearly this is what has happened with Android. It has grown on its own merits. It is free, and others are following it. So why didn't WP grow on its own merits? If you can honestly answer that, then you will have your answer.

96. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

"Lets not call Android agnostic when it does a poor job with tablet specific apps and a lackluster interface on a standard laptop or desktop." Glad someone bought this up.... Read up on Android Fragments...and understand why I said earlier that Google was ahead of MS on the universal app front. Android doesnt really need tablet specific apps. The dev can code it to scale based on screen size, resolution, etc and have different features based on screen size, resolution, etc. Only reason some apps are labeled tablet in the Play Store is either the dev is targeting tablets only or to appease those caught up on "where are the tablet apps at?" And a perfect example is MS own Office apps. They dont have 2 seperate apps....but in the description its listed for phone and tablets. Screen layout, functions change based on the screen size. Something that Apple is finally starting to push more for now. Why have seperate phone and tablet apps if you dont have to?

27. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

The app devs doesn't like that lol

3. Leandronb

Posts: 86; Member since: Jun 03, 2014

so all the efforts to make devs port apps from ios and android to windows phone will just vanish? also the integration from windows phone to windows 10 to become one only platform will be gone too? clickbait maybe?

16. diehardnokian

Posts: 148; Member since: Apr 27, 2014

yeah..!! the whole win 10 thing looked like MS is pretty serious about windows phones.

19. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I agree and highly doubt MS will drop Windows 10 Mobile But maybe MS will allow Google Play Services on Windows 10 Mobile That would make it easier for devs to port Android apps And in return Google starts making universal apps for Windows 10

42. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

In reality, Google with or without windows mobile, will need to make universal apps for windows. Not because they have to, but because the potential reach is far beyond. With the universal app, you get desktops, tablets (full pcs), you get the xbox one - a digital center for ads, and you get by default, halolens and VR through streaming. For the first time, since windows mobile 5, google cannot ignore the platform any longer. Especially when competing services are 'apps' apps that are going to go universal for windows. All this imo.

48. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I not so sure WP is currently about 1-2% of the global market, which Google has been ignoring so far Most x86 W10 users on PCs will use Google's services through their browser IMO it depends on how popular ARM W10 tablets/phones are If ARM W10 tablets/phones can pick up a market share of e.g. over 5% then Google will make universal apps Otherwise I think Google will keep ignoring if its just 1-2% Unless MS makes a deal with them

51. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Not so sure about using Google service on windows desktop. I just install a Windows 8.1 Pro and the whole system is defaulted to use Bing, Bing Map, Bing Translate. It takes knowledge and time to change the default setting to Google which most user wouldn't bother. I have been trying out Bing and i like it so far. Very similar to the Google search experience.

55. sgodsell

Posts: 7456; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

So universal apps run on any hardware, right? What do you think Android apps are today? They are universal like or agnostic apps. The major difference is Android has 1.6 million agnostic apps today. How many universal apps does Microsoft have today?

59. Plutonium239

Posts: 1232; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Android apps are not universal. They run only on android tablets and phones. Windows 10 universal apps run on windows 10 desktops, tablets, laptops, phones, xbox and the hololens.

66. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

So the only difference I see is that there isnt more specific hardware for Android apps to run on then. Does Chromebook count as a laptop? Does Ouya and Nvidia Shield count as gaming devices? Can Android apps run on the varied hardware Android is on like TV's, appliances, cars, streaming boxes, sticks, etc? If so...some Android apps could be considered universal right now. I dont see Win 10 apps running on a refrigator or car anytime soon. If it happens....I would be surprised. Or if it does it would be thru Android. And check out ARC Welder. You might be surprised how close Google and MS are on the universal app front. Remember before Win 10, Google was already ahead of MS with this idea. With just phones and tablets.

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