Dual-OS Windows Phone/Android smartphones set to be a reality by summer

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Dual-OS phones running Windows Phone and Android are six months away from launch, according to the chairperson of Indian phone company Karbonn, which has apparently signed a deal with Microsoft to produce them. The news comes from an interview published by the Times of India, where the chairperson of Karbonn, Sudhir Hasija, says the phone will be aimed at professional and techy users.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about dual-boot Windows Phone and Android hardware. Bloomberg reported in October last year that Microsoft was in talks with HTC about producing just such a device, but with Windows Phone being offered as a second option on its Android hardware. A week later, Samsung and Huawei were also rumored to be on Microsoft’s hit list. Apparently, reductions in the Windows Phone license fee were being offered as an incentive. 

Microsoft has also proved it’s not afraid to leverage Android’s popularity to increase Windows Phone’s visibility. The newly announced Nokia X family of smartphones use Google’s OS, but with Microsoft’s own apps replacing Gmail, Google Maps and other Google services, gently pushing owners to upgrade to a Lumia Windows Phone in the future.

The article quotes Hasija on the subject of licensing. “Microsoft has eased the regulations,” he said, adding “We signed the agreement two days ago and will launch a range of Windows Phones in about three months.” The dual-OS hardware won’t arrive until June. It’s not clear whether the system will allow users to swap between operating systems on the go, or if a clean install will be required each time, much like the current Geeksphone Revolution.

Karbonn almost certainly won’t be launching its dual-OS hardware outside of India, but the article seems to prove Microsoft is making deals similar to those we heard about last year. How long will we wait before a major manufacturer announces a similar strategy?

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