According to a report from Bloomberg, we may be seeing HTC devices that have dual-booting capability, allowing HTC owners the ability to choose between Android and the Windows Phone OS.
The report claims that HTC has been asked by Terry Myerson, the head of Microsoft’s operating systems unit, to add Windows Phone as an option on HTC’s Android handsets. Microsoft reportedly offered to drop licensing fees to sweeten the pot. No decisions have been made, as talks between HTC and Microsoft are ongoing.
This is news is certainly interesting, with both HTC and Microsoft in precarious positions as of late. HTC has been facing slow sales of their smartphones, and Windows has been facing an uphill battle with regards to adoption of their Windows Phone platform.
HTC manufacturers both Android and Windows Phone handsets, but hasn’t released a WP device since June, and has no clear plans to release another WP device anytime soon. HTC’s recent Windows Phone offerings incorporate some of the coolest features of recent HTC Android handsets, such as BoomSound speakers and Beats Audio, but have faced slow sales nonetheless.
As for Microsoft, the company recently took over Nokia’s mobile phone business, which could result in some pretty amazing Windows Phone offerings. Nokia manufacturers some of the most popular Windows Phone devices, with their colorful and diverse Lumia line. Even with the Nokia connection, Microsoft, backed into a corner, is aggressively looking to expand its reach into the mobile realm. Reaching out to other manufacturers is clearly their tactic, and HTC is in no position to refuse their proposals.
In the second quarter of this year, Microsoft held 3.7 percent of the smartphone operating system market, according to IDC. Android held 79 percent, with Apple hauling in 13 percent of the market.
Yesterday, HTC reported a third-quarter loss of $101 million in the three months ending in September, due to the slow sales of their HTC One handset. Although the HTC One is an amazingly powerful Android device, Samsung stole the show this year with the launch of their Galaxy S4. HTC faced some challenges with the launch of the HTC One, mainly manufacturing issues, that forced the HTC One to launch later than anticipated. Due in part to those hold-ups, people opted for Samsung handsets instead of HTC’s offerings.
While the thought of a dual-booting Android/Windows Phone HTC handset is truly intriguing, it does seem like a last-ditch attempt for Microsoft to save its rapidly falling mobile OS. With other mobile OS’s entering the fray, such as the Firefox OS, Ubuntu and Tizen, Microsoft must make moves soon or face imminent failure. To be fair though, Microsoft has enough money to stick out pretty much anything, so we will more than likely see the Windows Phone OS remain around for a while, even if it does hang around with a small number of users.
Since Microsoft now has a controlling role in Nokia’s smartphone biz, it would be awesome to see them create a dual-booting Nokia device. Android on the Lumia 1020? Yes please.
What do you think about this crazy idea? Would you rock a dual-booting Android/Windows Phone handset?