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back to article Microsoft: Oh PLEASE, HTC. Who says Windows Phone can't go on an Android mobe? – report

Microsoft has asked HTC to install Windows Phone as a user-selectable option on its Android handsets, according to a recent report. The news comes from Bloomberg, which has been chatting to the omniscient "people familiar", who reckon Redmond was prepared to sacrifice its licence fee if HTC would include the OS as an option on …

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Actually, this seems to be a good idea, if true*. There are a reasonable number of people who would buy the a phone with the OS they know, and then try the other one. There would actually be a way for people to compare OSes back to back, which is something missing from the ecosystem at the moment.

*and depending on how it was implemented, such as being able to transfer key details between the two, such as contacts etc.

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JDX
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re: *

I don't think the idea is to let you flip-flop, only to choose when you buy the phone or first use it.

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Law

Re: re: *

Providing you also get the option to change your mind back (at the cost of wiping the phone clean) I'm all for this idea. Hell, I'd love to give win phone a go on my nexus 4 if they (Microsoft) released a rom or something for it... I may not stay on that platform, but I'd give it a go.

The problem (I've seen) with the more expensive winphone-only phones is you are asking people to give up what they know and take a chance on an underdog platform... I've yet to even toy with one, and I'm a gadget whore and always jump on the chance to play with these things.

If they made it less risky for flagship phone buyers (like going back to android if they hate it) - I think their numbers would increase a lot as a good portion will probably prefer it if done right - as in, all usual win features available to the install (and stable).

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I fell for this once

Windows CE as a mobile phone wasnt good as a phone (Much like most mobiles these days :S)

Having a start menu and touchscreen that refused to click the start button wore thin very quickly.

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Re: I fell for this once

Isn't judging Windows Phone on how Windows Mobile worked a bit like saying I'm not getting an iPhone as I didn't like the Newton?

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Presumably

When you power it up for the first time it will ask you which OS you want to run.

1) Android

2) Windows

If you click 2 it will then ask for a credit card to pay the Windows license fee.

You'll then think bugger, I'm not paying and try the back button, but too late its pay for Windows or its a brick.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Presumably

I'd imagine that if it were being sold as Android or Windows, the license fee would be covered by the Android fee.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I fell for this once

You have to remember that all touch screen phones had a rather sucky interface. Palm was probably about the best but they all needed styluses.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: re: *

So we can upgrade all those Android malware magnets to a more secure OS in WP?

Sounds like a seller to me....

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Anonymous Coward

Windows on any platform is a bad idea IP.

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Windows

re: good idea

Even as someone who despises Microsoft with every fibre of his being, I have to agree that people should in fact have a choice of OS on their hardware, so I fully support this.

However, it cuts both ways. If Microsoft expects "Windows" to be offered as an option on Android handsets, then I think it's only fair that GNU/Linux should be offered as an option on all "Windows" desktops, so Microsoft needs to go speak to it's OEM "partners" pronto, and tear up those racketeering "agreements".

Right?

I mean, fair's fair, after all.

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I'd tend to agree with you, except that it sounds like MS wants a one-time, "either/or" selection to be made. Personally, I think a dual boot phone would be awesome. I made a comment a few days ago on another story about how I like using HTC Sense scenes to switch between work and home mode; being able to use different a OS would be even better.

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I'd be all in favor of it being possible to install other OS's on my phone. That would be wonderful. I've got an HTC Radar Windows Phone, would really like to replace that OS.

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Re: Presumably

Did you miss the part about Windows Phone being a Microsoft product?

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Re: Re: Presumably

Did you miss the part about Windows Phone being a Microsoft product?

(somehow posted reply to wrong comment, first time)

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If it's just a great idea, they'll put Android on all the Nokia phones.

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Gav

Re: I fell for this once

I'm not fooling for this Windows Phone nonsense either! I tried Windows 3.1, and found it impossible to fit the computer into any of my pockets. And that's even before you attached the modem. Micro$oft fail!!

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Re: re: *

I don't think the idea is to let you flip-flop, only to choose when you buy the phone or first use it.

While I agree with your interpretation of the story, is there actually any technical reason - aside from storage space required for the ROMs - why we couldn't have dual boot OS on a phone?

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Re: I fell for this once

"Windows CE as a mobile phone wasnt good as a phone"

Hence the reputation for living up to the monkier "Wince"

Having said that, it was tolerable on an iPAQ, but winfones were less than usable.

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Why du

"Personally, I think a dual boot phone would be awesome"

Why dual boot when you could run both using vmware or similar? (Blueksy thinking)

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Dual boot is indeed a good option for a phone, just like it is for any computer.

Of course the interesting smartphone options would be Android / Ubuntu and not the crippled, locked down windows phone.

If you could alternatively boot Ubuntu, you'd have access to a real desktop OS, you can use either in a pinch or when you have your smart mobe hooked up to an external display.

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Trollface

Hmmm, I like iOS but I don't like Apple devices

I like Android, but wish it was on a nokia..

Windows on a mobile.....nope

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Re: but wish it was on a nokia..

But Nokia are waving good-bye to the Windows phone business, so will be free to do as they please...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: but wish it was on a nokia..

"But Nokia are waving good-bye to the Windows phone business, so will be free to do as they please..."

No - they ware waving good bye to their entire mobile device business - e.g. Asha phones too - and are not allowed to complete in that market for several years.....

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Hey Microsoft - here's an idea

You could start a grass roots movement for phones that come with no OS, letting the user install their own choice, and not having to pay the Android (Linux) tax.

Oh, wait, Android is free. I guess we can call that kharma

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Re: Hey Microsoft - here's an idea

No, no, that would be fine, that way we wouldn't need to pay Microsoft's Linux tax

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hey Microsoft - here's an idea

Andriod is free, Google play is not.

" Devices must also meet this definition to be eligible to license Google's closed-source applications, including Google Play." (Yes I know Wiki and all that)

So most of them pay the Google Tax.......

And cue downvotes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hey Microsoft - here's an idea

Except there are the features in Android that MS have (or claim to have) IP for, which are paid by the manufacturers, so no, Android isn't free, it's just you don't see the cost.

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Re: Hey Microsoft - here's an idea

>> Except there are the features in Android that MS have (or claim to have) IP for, which are paid by the manufacturers, so no, Android isn't free, it's just you don't see the cost.

That's what's called M$ F.U.D. They want everyone to believe that Android isn't free, where as in fact it is.

Want to know how it's free? I can download it right now from AOSP, build it, and run it, without cost. That's the definition of free.

M$ can extort companies all they want, but it won't change reality, nor will it reverse the opinion that they're an abusive monopolist and patent troll.

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Re: Hey Microsoft - here's an idea

"Want to know how it's free? I can download it right now from AOSP, build it, and run it, without cost. That's the definition of free."

No it's not. It's only costing you nothing because you're not planning to sell it.

Lots of licences allow no-cost use until you try to make money from the product, and this includes several open source products too: in fact, the GPL licence is deliberately compatible with this kind of business model. The original goal of the Open Source movement wasn't to give stuff away for nothing; it was to ensure that people who had often PAID for a product were also given the code, which would allow them to port it to a new hardware/OS platform in future. OSS was primarily about preventing vendor lock-in, not about forcing developers to work for nothing. See this: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html

The various technologies under dispute on Andoid have a "no fee for non-commercial use" licence already, so you are fully entitled in law to pull the sources, build Android and use it. But, when you start to sell the product, you are no longer covered by this "non commercial" licence, and must obtain a commercial-use licence instead.

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Re: Hey Microsoft - here's an idea

AMD, from whom do you get that "comercial" licence from?

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Re: Hey Microsoft - here's an idea

There is no commercial use (or, indeed, any form of use) restriction in GPL at all.

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Lncensing Googles closed source applications != paying a fee

A Licence just means there is some agreement. It does not necessarily mean there was a payment.

Google makes their money as the phone is being used. No need to wallop the handset makers with licensing fees.

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Re: Hey Microsoft - here's an idea

" in fact, the GPL licence is deliberately compatible with this kind of business model."

Um. No. You can make quite a bit of money from GPL. Just ask Red Hat.

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Re: Hey Microsoft - here's an idea

"You can make quite a bit of money from GPL. Just ask Red Hat."

Um. Yes. That's what I was saying in the sentence you quoted ;)

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Happy

My Suggested Response

Dear Microsoft,

Whilst you have historically been very adamant about minimizing customer confusion by limiting them to one preinstalled OS per device, your current request seems to indicate a welcome change of attitude, to the more widely held belief that choice, when presented clearly, does not increase confusion and improves overall customer satisfaction.

That being the case, surely two manufacturers presenting such choice is better than one. Let us help you engineer Android for your Nokia Lumia phones, so that we can present a united front upholding the value of choice, in both hardware and software.

Cordially yours,

HTC

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Re: My Suggested Response

Initial first setup screen

"Please press "1" to install WP8, or "2" to remove Android

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Happy

Re: My Suggested Response

Your response is fun but HTC wound not gain anything if Nokia put Android, as a choice, on Lumia phones, quite the opposite as Nokia would most likely become a stronger competitor. The only one to gain is Nokia (and some of us) unfortunately the Microsoft EGO is too huge to do it. And that will not change as long as Gates and/or Ballmer are on the board. Microsoft has to play "nice" with HTC as there is no way (no mole) to push out Android.

Android is just a tool for HTC, and others, run by Google, they have no psychological bond with it. Personally, if my Nokia ever dies I will have a look at the Sailfish.

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I think a funnier option would be HTC saying something like "tell you what, we'll ignore Windows Phone AND your shitty tax on anything not Windows."

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JDX
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Actually it's a great idea

Allowing customers to choose - what's not to like?

Personally I think they should let you choose when you buy it which you want, and allow expert users the opportunity to re-install later.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually it's a great idea

"Allowing customers to choose - what's not to like?"

Well yes.

Except that historically, for mobiles, the customers buying the phones mostly aren't you and me, the customers are the mobile carriers (and a handful of carrier-independent outfits).

Dealmaking at near-CEO level should of course be natural Microsoft territory, but once you get MS away from the PC/IT platform, the wheels even come off their dealmaking abilities.

So they've failed to convince the CEO-level people about WinPhone, they've failed to convince end users about WinPhone.

Still, look on the bright side. The only way is up?

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Happy

Re: Actually it's a great idea

My idea too, for many years, why not an empty phone with some cards to read the OS of your choice from, and switching when you like. It would though be fun to see how market shares where counted then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually it's a great idea

"My idea too, for many years, why not an empty phone with some cards to read the OS of your choice from, and switching when you like. "

I support this plan, simply because it would bring SD card slots back to more phones.

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Anonymous Coward

Not going to happen - look what happened to HTC last time.

They got distracted by the Windows Phone OS that consumers have told the world they aren't interested in. Samsung took the ball and ran with it.

Windows Phone destroyed HTC last time around, they took their eye of the ball, and it was game over.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not going to happen - look what happened to HTC last time.

Look at what happened to anybody.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not going to happen - look what happened to HTC last time.

"the Windows Phone OS that consumers have told the world they aren't interested in"

Erm - you know it's the fastest growing mobile OS, and just hit 12% market share in the UK?

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Re: Not going to happen - look what happened to HTC last time.

http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os-GB-monthly-201209-201309

Try less than 5%. Blackberry is more fantastically successful in the UK than Windows Phone is, and this is a region where iOS still leads things. As for "fastest growing", by what metric? I'm looking at those charts of actual usage (not phones stuffed into warehouses and shops), and Windows Phone is looking pretty flat to me.

Nobody wants it, even though it's being advertised absolutely everywhere and talked about by all the tech sites and consumer magazines. If Microsoft are lucky, and they waste a few more billion, they might make 4th or 5th over the next 5 or 6 years or so, at current growth rates. That's assuming Google hasn't bought them by then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not going to happen - look what happened to HTC last time.

No - try 12% in the UK: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/oct/01/microsoft-nokia-smartphone-windows-phone

WP has been ahead of Blackberry since the beginning of 2013...So they are already 3rd - and are about to overtake Apple in markets like Germany...

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Re: Not going to happen - look what happened to HTC last time.

"try 12% in the UK:"

That's 12% of (alleged) SALES, not 12% MARKET SHARE - at the current rate it will take ~ 2-3 years to reach 12% SHARE

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Re: Not going to happen - look what happened to HTC last time.

> No - try 12% in the UK:

From Kantar report:

"""According to its second-quarter figures (PDF), its overall smartphone average selling price (ASP) fell to €157, compared to €191 and €187 in the previous two quarters. """

So, yes, WP may be up to 12% but it has been achieved by selling at a loss (see Nokia's report). They can only dump bargain bin phones for a short time before they either close or sell up. Aha, they sold the business. If MS continues selling at a loss then then the OEMs will complain to, say, the EUC and/or stop making WP.

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