HTC reportedly considering Android/Windows Phone dual-booting smartphone as Microsoft pushes for deeper Windows mobile integration

By Alexandra Burlacu | Oct 04, 2013 09:26 AM EDT

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Microsoft is reportedly in talks with HTC to add its Windows OS to the phone maker's Android-based smartphones, and HTC may be thinking about a Windows Phone dual-booting Android.

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These two bits of information are related but separate, coming from two distinct reports. First, word came out that Microsoft is negotiating with HTC to incorporate its own operating system into HTC's Android devices "at little or no cost," as Bloomberg reported on Friday, Oct. 4, citing "people with knowledge of the matter."

According to the publication, this move just serves as more evidence of Microsoft's desperate efforts to gain more ground in the mobile market.

"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. (GOOG)'s rival software, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private," reveals the Bloomberg report. "Myerson discussed cutting or eliminating the license fee to make the idea more attractive, the people said. The talks are preliminary and no decision has been made, two people said."

HTC was the first company to make both Windows and Android smartphones, but it hasn't announced a new Windows Phone device since June. Moreover, one of Bloomberg's sources further noted that HTC has no current plans to release any more Windows-based handsets.

Another, separate report from Android Central, meanwhile, now makes things even more interesting. The publication claims to have learned from its own source that HTC has been mulling over the idea of creating a smartphone that would dual-boot both Windows Phone and Android at the same time.

"We've been hearing from our own sources that HTC has indeed been looking at the engineering cost of making an Android/Windows Phone dual-booting handset a reality," claims Android Central. "It's unclear how far the project might have progressed, however, nor whether Google might attempt to throw a wrench in the works by blocking certification of such a device."

"Indeed, it's hard to see how Microsoft's piggy-backing on sales of Android phones would directly benefit anyone besides Microsoft. Users, for instance, would be presented with two wildly divergent software experiences - and marketing this kind of handset could present its own problems."

HTC has made no comment so far regarding such rumored efforts, and neither has Microsoft. It remains to be seen whether this concept will indeed materialize, but for now it is advisable to take these reports with a big grain of salt. Even if they are accurate and the two companies are indeed in negotiations, there's no guarantee that a Windows Phone/Android device would actually see the light of day and become commercially available. 



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