According to a Bloomberg report, Microsoft is trying to convince HTC to install Windows Phone on its hardware. HTC has supported Microsoft’s mobile OS in the past, but has always concentrated on Android, and the company’s last major Windows Phone release was the HTC 8X earlier this year. However, instead of pushing for unique Windows devices, Microsoft could be asking HTC to add the OS to its Android phones.
Quoting anonymous sources, the article says Microsoft’s Terry Myerson requested HTC use Windows Phone as a, “Second option,” on its Android phones, and if it did so, Myerson would drop or discount the usual license fee. The offer can be interpreted several different ways, but sadly, Myerson’s exact meaning isn’t clarified.
Does he want HTC to simply clone its Android hardware with a Windows Phone version? After all, the HTC One is a great looking phone, and very different to the majority of Windows Phone hardware, plus the addition of a Mini and Max version would help flesh out Microsoft’s range of phones considerably. This is the logical conclusion, but there’s also another possibility that’s far less logical.
Is Myerson pushing for HTC to make a phone with a dual-boot option, leaving it down to the owner to select which operating system to use? Would this be a one time deal, where you make your choice when the phone first starts up, after which the loser is erased? Or is Microsoft hoping HTC will make a smartphone version of Samsung’s ATIV Q tablet, which permanently runs both Windows 8 and Android?
Either way, it’s an unusual way of trying to convince HTC to make more Windows phones, particularly as adopting Microsoft’s struggling OS is unlikely to give much of a boost to the similarly struggling HTC. Of course, there’s no official confirmation this type of deal has been discussed, so it must be taken as a rumor for now. Microsoft does seem to be visiting hardware manufacturers to chat about Windows Phone though, perhaps to convince them it still wants new hardware, despite buying Nokia’s devices division. However, billing Windows Phone as a vaguely unwelcome guest doesn’t sound like the way to do it.