back to article Microsoft: OK, we have no phones, but look how much we love Android

With no phone platform left, Microsoft has snuggled much closer to Android. The new version of Windows 10 – available on demand today to all users – introduces what Microsoft calls "app mirroring" into the Windows. It's similar to Samsung's SideSync (but much more basic) or the open-source scrcpy display server. This …

  1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Meh

    It's kind of like Microsoft has now conceded they're not going to be able to make a phone OS that gathers any traction any more, so they're going to have to play in someone else's sandbox from now on.

    Given their track record and who they're up against, I'm not sure whether to be happy, sad or just plain worried at that precedent...

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      This doesn't feel like a ringing endorsement of the platform, merely a meek recognition that the game has moved on. I wouldn't care to bet on which tech-titan will ultimately hold sway, although I'd be putting an outside bet on a company I've barely heard of - but for the fact I've yet to hear of them.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

      They are the only company that has all the pieces needed to completely replace Google's stuff like search, maps, app store, browser etc. The "MSAndroid" app store would be bare at first, but they have deep pockets and could provide incentives for developers who have Android apps on the Play Store to copy them to Microsoft's store.

      Even if they didn't make any money off it, I'm sure they wouldn't mind taking all that user data from Google.

      They could introduce some proprietary stuff that ties them into corporate Windows networks really well and not only take most of the corporate Android, but probably take a chunk of the corporate iPhone market away from Apple.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

        They already did make an Android phone with MS and Nokia services.

        A couple of months before Microsoft bought Nokia phone division Nokia released a couple of phones with the Nokia X platform based on Android Jelly Bean. After the purchase Microsoft continued building them as 'Microsoft X', but soon killed them because they may have overtaken the sales of Lumia.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_X

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/07/17/x_marks_the_chop_microsoft_snuffs_out_nokias_android_venture/

        1. arctic_haze Silver badge

          Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

          The Android running Nokia X has been killed by Microsoft soon after it has been announced. Some people claim that Nokia X was a way of forcing Microsoft into buying the company's phone business. The irony is that the phone has been announced a quarter after Microsoft bought Nokia phone business but obviously developed earlier.

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

            > Some people claim that Nokia X was a way of forcing Microsoft into buying the company's phone business.

            It was a way of Nokia surviving if Microsoft didn't buy the division. The agreement where MS paid Nokia a $million a year for only make Windows Phones was about to expire. In spite of that subsidy the division was still making a loss because they had to sell the phones below cost in order for them to be bought. This was because MS only catered for a limited set of SOCs that were well below leading edge.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

        Of course the end game is to make their own phones, with their own ecosystem. Before that, they need some things to happen.

        They need their shill organisation - FairSearch - to get the EU to do their dirty work first, and then they can walk in and replace the Google stuff with their much more invasive, Microsoft Android platform, where things are slightly different (you know, how they tried to destroy Java with their own Java which was deliberately incompatible)

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

          replace the Google stuff with their much more invasive, Microsoft Android platform

          You really believe Microsoft can out-evil Google? They have been out-eviled and left in the dust, and will never catch up to Google in that department.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

            How so? There is plenty of historic evidence where Microsoft have been truly evil in their operations, but I'm struggling to list the Google ones. perhaps list them for us?

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

            I don't think that Google has out-eviled Microsoft, exactly. They both seem about equally evil. However, Google is more powerful and so it can spread its evil more widely.

      3. Bob Vistakin
        Holmes

        Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

        Head spinning thought: If MS made Android phones, would they still charge Google the royalties they extort per handset from other manufacturers in patent fees?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

          You know it's not 2006 anymore, and FAT patents have expired, and everything else has been pretty much nullified in court? Do you believe everything you read on the internet?

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

          They don't charge Google royalties, they charge the manufacturers who dare to install Android. Knowing how corporations tend to work, If they made their own Android phones, they very likely pay those royalties as well (it would be less expensive than creating an accounting exception). They'd just be paying them to themselves, so it would be a wash, income-wise.

        3. DougS Silver badge

          @Bob Vistakin

          If MS made Android phones, would they still charge Google the royalties

          They don't charge Google the royalties, they charge the phone's vendor. There's little point in charging themselves royalties.

      4. Deevo

        Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

        They don't need to make their own android phones because it's already relatively simple to create a Microsoft android phone by installing Microsoft Launcher and Microsoft apps for android. These include Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Edge, One Drive, Office Lens, Xbox, News, OneNote, Authenticator, Translator, SharePoint, To Do, Remote Desktop, Teams, Staff Hub etc etc. I'd say it's already pretty much a fait accompli. I've done it, it works very well, and I'm happy!

        1. ROC

          Re: Surprised they don't make their own Android phones

          After trying to get away from Google/Android about 3 years ago along with a cellular provider change (Verizon to AT&T), and going with Window Phone 8.1 on Lumia 640's for me and my wife, it seemed a good move. It was her 1st smartphone after years of feature phones, and I felt more comfortable getting her up to speed on that platform (for a lot less money, $50 for a Lumia 635 at first) than the Androids of my experience over the prior couple years. Her experience was so good, I decided to make the switch myself from Android to WP, and we both got 640's at that point (under $100 - good enough). The built-in MS Office-ish apps and others such as for photography, messaging, weather, and navigating (Waze and Here Maps/Go for me) were good enough, and reasonably well integrated at that point, and there were just enough other apps to satisfy our rather basic needs/wants.

          Then WP 10 came along, and it seemed to be disintegrating as it went along "upgrading" from WP 8.1 (in my testing - kept wife on 8.1), and never did get up to the usability of WP 8.1. So this year, after I got back on Android, then I got my wife switched over, and it has been a bit rough for her, but she is settling in with it. LG's mid-range phones for under $100 seem to do the job, and the MS android apps have eased the transition, but they just don't seem to work quite as well as the native version on WP 8.1 did. I am still dabbling with a Lumia 950 to see if it ever gets it together.

          Oh well, hoping Purism next year will give a better option for me at least - my wife does NOT handle techno change well at all. Just hoping Android updates don't become a bigger challenge for her than Purism would be...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's kind of like Microsoft has now conceded they're not going to be able to make a phone OS that gathers any traction any more, so they're going to have to play in someone else's sandbox from now on.

      Single bachelor with little dog

      Tony Green from Turnham Green...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Preach where the sinners are?

    When did SCO enter this circus?

  3. fandom Silver badge

    "While it's dispiriting for Microsoft fans to see the company working so hard on Android"

    Yes, all three of them

  4. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Linux

    3 Words

    Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

    Microsoft and Google are just as bad these days.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: 3 Words

      Now you can have both on one phone. Do you add or multiply the evil?

      1. choleric

        Re: 3 Words

        Following the "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" maxim you don't add or multiply, you raise it to a power. This gives

        Microsoft to the power of a Google

        or

        (Microsoft) ^ (Google)

        which is a very large amount of evil indeed. Note that "the don't be evil" safeguard doesn't apply here because we are dealing with absolute amounts.

      2. VikiAi Silver badge

        Re: Do you add or multiply the evil?

        I think you use an exponentiation.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 3 Words

      Interesting, what evidence do you have that suggests Google are anywhere near as bad a Microsoft?

      Microsoft have a real history, but Google, it's really hard to find anything. I can find plenty of examples where they splash cash to open things up in good ways (VP9 - £128m and then open sourced it right away), things where they close down their own services (hey they own them, you don't pay for them with money, so you don't really have a valid complaint).

      Most people's complain about Google, is how good their products are, and how they are very successful as a result. That's a pretty pathetic reason for not liking something...

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: 3 Words

        I guess there are still some suckers around who believe Google's "do no evil" pledge. Because Google open sources some stuff that isn't important to how they make money you think they are altruistic? Wow, you are certainly easy to buy off. Open sourcing stuff is easy for Google to do because they don't sell you software, they steal your personal information in exchange for "free stuff", which is apparently a trade you are all too happy to make.

        At least with Microsoft you have a choice about whether you want to have a relationship with them. It might have been a pain at times when they tried to embrace and extend the web with IE6, but you still had the choice (like I did running Linux and Netscape then Mozilla then Firefox)

        With Google they are almost impossible to avoid thanks to all the web trackers they put everywhere, the web sites / applications they've conned into using a google login to access them, people who send you links to Google Docs documents, and so on. At least when someone sent me a Word doc I could open it in Openoffice which was good enough for reading it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 3 Words

          " they steal your personal information in exchange for "free stuff", which is apparently a trade you are all too happy to make."

          They don't steal anything. I have read the privacy policy, and it's very clear what I give up, and what I get in exchange. I'm also intelligent enough to understand what the term "anonymised data" actually means.

          You sound like a rabid Google hater living with a tinfoil hat.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: 3 Words

            "They don't steal anything"

            Yes, they do. I don't use Google services, but nonetheless, I have to engage in constant defensive actions to prevent Google from spying on me (just like with Facebook). They even do it with real-world activities that don't involve the internet at all. The fact that it's impossible to perfectly defend myself against them is just more indication of how insistent they are in engaging in this theft.

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: 3 Words

              > indication of how insistent they are in engaging in this theft.

              You should try learning English. 'Theft' is "removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it".

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: 3 Words

                Fair enough -- I was using "theft" in the colloquial sense rather than the legal. What term would you prefer I use for when an entity is compiling data about me without my consent?

              2. David Roberts Silver badge

                Re: 3 Words

                Removal of personal privacy seems to fit the definition of theft.

        2. ROC

          Re: 3 Words - Don't be Evil?

          That motto was officially dropped when Alphabet became the official parent of Google in 2015:

          http://time.com/4060575/alphabet-google-dont-be-evil/

          However, per the linked article they did replace it with a "positive" formulation for their code of conduct:

          "

          “Employees of Alphabet and its subsidiaries and controlled affiliates should do the right thing—follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect,” the new code reads, noticeably dropping the famous motto.

          "

          Maybe a few things not covered leave some scope creep for "evil" such as being sneaky and obfuscating how user data are monetized, licensed, and shared?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            'what evidence do you have that suggests Google are anywhere near as bad a Microsoft?'

            https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/17/17344250/google-x-selfish-ledger-video-data-privacy

            https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-30/google-and-mastercard-cut-a-secret-ad-deal-to-track-retail-sales

            https://theintercept.com/2018/09/21/google-suppresses-memo-revealing-plans-to-closely-track-search-users-in-china/

            https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/25/chrome_69_google_cookies/

            https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/24/google_chrome_auto_login/

            ---------

            https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/24/google_data_flows_study/

            https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/04/26/google_pixel_2_xl_what_it_means_now/?page=4

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 3 Words

        "Interesting, what evidence do you have that suggests Google are anywhere near as bad a Microsoft?"

        If you're the consumer, then you don't see how bad they've went. If you work with google stuff but not in google, then you are lucky to not fallen into hell.

        Take a look at the youtubers. You'll see at least one video of them tell their viewers that they are burned out and getting stressful when youtube changed their algorithm without any notice and dropping their viewers. I believe the recent shooter at youtube should have explained it.

        Take a look at the developers on play store. They pay google the 30% tax but without the 30% support. When your app gets banned/ flagged, you get it reversed by luck of the AI. In many case, google again changed their algorithm and thousand of successful developers suddenly gets 60% drop in app downloads. Not to mention, most app rarely get promoted on play store front page. It doesn't take someone with some sense to see the same app promoted for week in front meant over thousands of app don't get any chance.

        Adding the recent removal of www and m from chrome url, helping the military, and making a censored search engine for china, 'Is Google anywhere near as bad' really is debatable.

      3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: 3 Words

        "Interesting, what evidence do you have that suggests Google are anywhere near as bad a Microsoft?"

        Google may be worse than Microsoft these days. Microsoft never had to face down a rebellion against their own employees over whether it was a good decision to build AI weapons of war for the US Army. Regardless of your opinions on the Americans - these weapons WILL be used, and probably in the Middle East - sparking more wars, destabilising more countries, more waves of people flooding across borders to flee, and more terrorism at home and abroad.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: 3 Words

          > these weapons WILL be used, and probably in the Middle East - sparking more wars,

          Trump has to come up with some reason to cancel the upcoming mid-term elections. A Middle East war, or Korean, will do that.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Trump canceling elections

            Oh please, can we stop these ridiculous fear mongering partisan claims? They weren't true when conservatives were floating FUD about Obama canceling elections due to some unspecified national emergency, and they aren't true now when liberals float the claims Trump will.

            We managed to have elections during WW II, which was about as serious as war gets, so another Iraq halfway around the world isn't going to provide anyone such an excuse.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    WTF?

    The end of the world has just got that bit closer

    MicroSoft getting all cuddly with Google? A WTF moment if ever there was one.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: The end of the world has just got that bit closer

      I think it's more King Kong versus Godzilla.

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    No mention of Airdroid app in this article, despite the fact that a lot of what MS are only just launching, Airdroid has been doing for at least about 6 years now.

    Plus Airdroid works from your web browser so you don't need Windows 10 to use it

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
      Pint

      Thanks for mentioning AirDroid. Will download and try it out.

      Thanks!

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

        Meh, not working on my phone. I can connect and everything, but when I open the icons to do... work... nothing happens.

        I have a Xiaomi Redmi 4A.

        1. 's water music Silver badge

          also pushbullet

          Has a Chrome and (I think) firefox addin. Gives you phone notification popups on your computer and (for me) the killer feature of SMS in the browser

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: also pushbullet

            And then there are things like GTalkSMS, can do various phone things controlled via Jabber / XMPP. I'm sure there's more.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re. airdroid

        I feel just a tad uneasy about a company that puts the following on their front page:

        "Remote control App which based on AirMirror technology".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re-use; buy; build

    > The more mature SideSync, launched three years ago, allows the user to handle a number of phone tasks without leaving the PC: initiate and answer calls, set alarms, and share files. So there's plenty to do.

    It's an odd decision making process at Microsoft: we'll re-develop about half the features of SideSync (thereby doing just enough to put them put of business in a couple of years) but we won't buy them out and give our users a full-featured product.

    User outcome: the MS version is not good enough to sway most users; those already swayed and willing to pay have the rug pulled from under them.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Re-use; buy; build

      Don't you just hate competition!

      I've never heard of SideSync. It may be great, but they need to sort out their marketing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re-use; buy; build

        > Don't you just hate competition!

        I do when the outcome for users (i.e. me) is the worst of all worlds. I can only assume that you're prepared to put up with sub-standard.

      2. TReko

        Re: Re-use; buy; build

        SideSync is from Samsung, who have many innovative, but poorly marketed innovations.

        If Apple released something like SideSync, they will have a huge announcement, a big conference and many trained PR people and tame journo's regurgitating how it will "change the world".

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Re-use; buy; build

          > If Apple released something like SideSync...

          But Apple does have features that link a phone and Mac. Can't remember the implementation exactly, but phone calls can be taken in a Mac, and work on open documents on one machine can be picked up on another machine.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Re-use; buy; build

            The difference is that when Apple introduces something new they introduce it as a polished end-to-end solution that will work on all devices running the latest iOS, which is a lot of devices considering even 2013's 5S runs iOS 12 (and runs it faster than it ran iOS 11) so they get an immediate audience of around a billion potential users.

            It is a much more difficult process rolling stuff out to Android users because most of them will need a new phone to get the latest OS, and even then people in poorer countries buying lower spec devices might not be able to access it.

            It is a lot easier promoting something "install the latest update and you can do x" versus "if you are lucky maybe you'll get this in a few months, or maybe you'll get it with your next phone, unless you spend less than $150 for it".

  8. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Terminator

    Microsoft Android ®

    While it's dispiriting for Microsoft fans to see the company working so hard on Android, Google's OS has almost 90 per cent of the world smartphone market. Microsoft may respond: you just have to preach where the sinners are.”

    Why doesn't Microsoft just charge the hardware makers a tax on every handset sold?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Uh, because the hardware makers will tell MS to get stuffed ?

      This isn't the '90s anymore, and Microsoft is not only not the only game in town any more, it has forfeited its presence in that particular market.

      So, when you're begging for a seat, you do not give orders to the driver.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft Android ®

      "Why doesn't Microsoft just charge the hardware makers a tax on every handset sold?"

      They effectively do, as they collect royalties from every Android phone sold, for highly questionable patents.

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft Android ®

        Are they still refusing to tell the public *what* patents? IIRC from Groklaw, they weren't saying and part of the settlement with the manufs was some kind of NDA about that.

        Being good spirited and all, so everyone is saved the effort of working around such patents.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft Android ®

          Are they still refusing to tell the public *what* patents? IIRC from Groklaw, they weren't saying and part of the settlement with the manufs was some kind of NDA about that.

          Would be a REAL shame if 2 or 3 of those manufacturers' legal departments got infected with spyware, and the NDA agreements just happened to leak out...

          Not that I'm advocating such a thing should happen to them, mind you...

          1. ROC

            Re: Microsoft Android ®

            Especially interesting to know how Barnes & Noble stood up to MS regarding its refusal to pay license fees for its Nook tablets such that MS avoided an open trial by settling with a joint ebook venture with B&N to keep them quiet (as I recall the gist of it).

            Anyway, I thought some Chinese source with access to the licensing specifics for phones made there spilled the details as part of some Chinese governmental filing requirement?

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Microsoft Android ®

          "Are they still refusing to tell the public *what* patents?"

          I believe so, but we know that one of the patents is for the FAT filesystem.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Microsoft Android ®

            Does Android still use FAT? Surely all the phones that have dropped micro SD cards have no reason to support FAT. The ones that do should just refuse to support FAT formatted cards and reformat them with ext4 or whatever.

            It isn't like anyone is still using that capability Android users were touting years ago as an advantage over iPhone of swapping micro SD cards from their camera to their phone to copy photos to their phone - since few of them own a separate camera these days. They are only used as a way to expand storage.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Microsoft Android ®

              "Does Android still use FAT?"

              Yes

              "Surely all the phones that have dropped micro SD cards have no reason to support FAT. "

              But those that haven't do.

              "The ones that do should just refuse to support FAT formatted cards and reformat them with ext4 or whatever."

              That would be a serious mistake as it would make it very difficult to be able to use SD cards to exchange data with non-Linux computers. You say nobody is using that capability anymore, but that just isn't true -- I personally know lots of people who do.

              1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                Re: Microsoft Android ®

                > make it very difficult to be able to use SD cards to exchange data with non-Linux computers.

                The main issues are that cameras generally use FAT for their SD cards and that Microsoft makes it difficult for Windows to use anything else.

                1. DougS Silver badge

                  Re: Microsoft Android ®

                  It isn't as though Windows users can't install a driver for whatever filesystem the SD cards use instead of FAT/vFAT. Heck, the drive could be built into the SD card on a small FAT-formatted secondary partition so it would be easy to load.

                2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

                  Re: Microsoft Android ®

                  The main issues are that cameras generally use FAT for their SD cards and that Microsoft makes it difficult for Windows to use anything else.

                  But (as I understand it) MSWin has long had an "installable file system" API, it's just that no one wants to use it. If the various camera & consumer electronics manufacturers decided to adopt ext4 (or some more flash-friendly file system), you'd only need to install the IFS driver *once*, and it would be supported for anything that used it.

          2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: Microsoft Android ®

            > we know that one of the patents is for the FAT filesystem.

            It is not for the actual FAT filesystem, that expired decades ago. It was for a feature of VFAT that has long file names and the way that these are held and a short file name is generated.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Microsoft Android ®

              Yes, I stand corrected. Thanks!

  9. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Now fix Windows!

    Now that Microsoft has basically conceded that Windows Phone is dead, can they PLEASE re-work the Windows 10 UI so that it's DESKTOP FIRST again? Touch elements on the desktop are sooooo annoying.

    1. DougS Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Now fix Windows!

      Hey things could be worse than using a Windows Phone UI - they could rework it and release Windows 11 using the Android UI!

  10. LDS Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Slurpt + Slurp

    ... what could go wrong?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome To Microsoft 'Onavo'

    "Android users are getting one more superpower with the new Windows update, beyond the Your Phone app. Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled Timeline, a Windows 10 feature that kept track of which files and webpages you were accessing, and when, so you could figuratively trace your digital steps and find what you were looking for. Now, Android users can install the Microsoft Launcher app, and access that same Timeline, so you can find the website or Office 365 file you wanted."

    __________

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/23/onavo_vpn_pulled_from_ios/

  12. Cavehomme_

    NSA OS

    Eventually there will only be one OS, or beggar all difference between them, called NSA OS.

  13. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Point?

    Other than some business users, phone users are not going to rush out an add an app from Slurp because it is from Slurp. Users add apps either for entertainment (games, etc.) or because they need an app for some information (local mass transit system, etc.). So this will largely be ignored by the market as it will not be terribly useful or significantly better than what they already have installed.

    Many do not have a corporate supplied phone and thus will limit the amount company stuff on their phone. Certainly they (or the IT department) will limit the integration of the phone with the corporate assets.

    Another Slurp half-baked marketing idea. They should be concentrating on fixing Bloat and making it a worthwhile OS to use for the masses. Instead we getting idiocies such as this or the BaaS (Bloat-as-a-Service).

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Point?

      The enterprise phone market is large, they could do some brisk business if they could get a piece of that. Even if they don't make any money doing so it would be worth it to them to block Google from getting a foothold inside the enterprise.

      If Microsoft makes some compelling integration they could make it so a business tells people "if you want to use your personal Android phone you must install x, otherwise we will supply you with a corporate approved phone". Most people would install x rather than carry two phones.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Point?

      "Many do not have a corporate supplied phone and thus will limit the amount company stuff on their phone."

      This. I limit the amount of company stuff on my personal phone to "nothing", as it's too much of a security risk to allow company IT tendrils to touch my phone.

      1. ROC

        Re: Point?

        They probably see the other way around from their perspective ;-}

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Point?

          They probably do -- and they absolutely should!

  14. simonb_london

    Extortion

    Android manufactures have to pay off Microsoft for use of patents, the identity of which Microsoft keeps under NDA so no one actually knows which patents.

    Under this legalised extortion they probably earn a lot more from Android than Google do.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Extortion

      That may have been true in the early days of Android, but there's no way they are making more money from Android than Google does today. Think of the value of all the personal information they are extracting about every web site visited by Android users, their locations, what they search for, what they look for in maps, what apps they install and on and on.

      That's got to be more than the few bucks Microsoft gets off each Android phone sold (if indeed they are still getting that, I haven't heard anything about that for years) because it continues every day you own that phone, instead of just once when the phone is purchased.

  15. Deevo

    Picture mirroring with MS Your Phone

    This is definitely a version 1.0 as it only mirrors pictures in your Camera app. If you use another app such as Open Camera, PhotoScan, Messenger, Snapseed, Google Maps etc those photos will not be available.

  16. ROC

    MS Android Patents Revealed

    As I mentioned earlier in this discussion, Barnes & Noble did hold off Microsoft's Android patent demands in 2011, and formed a joint venture with them as part of the ongoing efforts by MS to keep the patents secret. But then the venture was dissolved, and they parted ways about a year later, and, it seems, the patents remained secret then:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/barnes-and-noble-pays-62-million-to-get-out-of-microsoft-deal-2014-12

    However, the patents were revealed by Chinese government regulators per this 2014 ZDnet article ( https://www.zdnet.com/article/310-microsoft-patents-used-in-android-licensing-agreements-revealed-by-chinese-gov/ ). The linked ArsTechnica article spells out many of the patents' disclosed, and that many were acquired from Nortel's portfolio via the MS participation in the Rockstar consortium that acquired a huge cache of patents with Nortel's bankruptcy liquidation:

    "The company has never revealed the patents and fees centered within licensing deals, unless required to do so in the courtroom. However, documents posted on the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM)’s website detail the full range of patents included within licensing agreements. As reported by Ars Technica, the patent lists were submitted as part of the Chinese government's review of the purchase of Nokia's handset division by Microsoft for $7.2 billion.

    Chinese regulators approved the deal in April after examining whether Microsoft's licensing agreements could be used in an anti-competitive fashion, and whether Nokia might be tempted to ramp up the costs of licensing.

    The patents, which are found on the Chinese language version of the website, include 73 standard-essential patents generally used in mobile technology, as well as 127 Android-implemented patents -- both developed by Microsoft and acquired by participating in the Rockstar Consortium. In addition, a number of non standard-essential patents were examined by Chinese regulators, including 68 patent applications and 42 issued patents."

  17. techmedixx

    I think there is much more going on than meets the eye. Google is hard at work developing Fucshia which will one day replace both Android and Chrome OS. They have also started to somewhat distance themselves from Android which has been both a boon and bane for Google. Android has helped make Google a powerhouse in the industry but it's also been the source of endless legal problems. Fucshia will deliver them from that.

    Once Android is 'deprecated' by Google It will no longer fit into Google's plans moving forward but it could figure prominently in Microsoft's. I would not be surprised if an acquisition of Android by Microsoft takes place once Fucshia is in place. A Microsoft branded Android would not face the same problems Google has concerning Android. They own many of the patents that have been the source of so many issues and would have an easier time coming to terms with ones they don't.

    Microsoft is looking for a way back into the mobile market and Android would certainly give them one. A big one. Google will replace Android and Chrome OS with Fucshia and it will happen virtually overnight and most customers won't even notice. There will also be those that are loyal to Android and won't accept a substitute.

    I think a Microsoft branded Android is a real possibility and it looks like Microsoft and Google are setting the stage. Microsoft is doing some heavy development work to integrate their services into Android. Windows Phone was awesome but suffered from a lack of third-party development for the platform. An acquisition of Android would also solve that problem.

    The reality is we will only know if it happens. In the meantime, we can only speculate and this is my prediction. It may be a bit out there but it feels right somehow, so don't be too surprised if it one day comes to pass.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > I think a Microsoft branded Android is a real possibility

      They already had one. Nokia released 3 Android Nokia-X phones and Microsoft continued to sell them as Microsoft-X for a few months after they took over. They killed them when they overtook Windows Phone sales.

      https://www.theverge.com/2014/2/24/5440498/nokia-x-android-phone-hands-on

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