Microsoft turns to Android to Bolster Windows Phone?
Earlier this week, news broke that Microsoft may finally be manufacturing a Lumia device running on Android. However, it seems like that may not be case anymore. According to a tipster, Eldar Murtazin (@eldarmurtazin), Microsoft may be pulling a BlackBerry and creating a virtual machine (VM) for Android applications to run on the Windows Phone platform.
Windows Phone has been having problems enticing developers to start developing applications on their platform with popular applications such as Facebook and Vine being slow in creating applications for the platform. This becomes the main downfall of the platform since launch as applications have become increasingly important for users given how current smartphones depend on the applications for functionality. As such, Microsoft has been struggling to wrestle market share in the fast paced industry staying in a far third place compared to Android and iOS.
However, it seems like Microsoft is looking to change that by implementing a VM. This is similar to what BlackBerry did with its PlayBook. Android applications natively run on a VM on it’s own ecosystem. This VM was, until recently, the Dalvik Runtime. Essentially, what this means is that the applications that you run on your Android device, do not run within the Android O (OS)perating System but on top of it in a “program” layer similar to how you run applications in your Chrome Browser in Windows or OSX. So, what Microsoft wants to do is to run this layer on top of the Windows Phone OS. This would boost the applications available on Windows Phone substantially.
However, the biggest hurdle to this would be licensing the required patents and systems from Google to do this. Nevertheless, Microsoft has a big negotiation tool – it’s patents. Microsoft currently makes about USD$ 2 billion (RM 12.4 million) in patent royalties from Android. It could use this to negotiate a deal with Google to license whatever it needs to run the VM on Windows Phone.
We’ll have to see if an Android powered Lumia actually makes a debut or will Microsoft release an update for Windows Phones across the board to bring Android applications to bolster Windows Phone.
Will you consider a Windows Phone device with Android Applications or would you rather just get an Android device?