Microsoft is trying to invade Google’s place in the smartphone market quite literally. The Redmond, Wash.-based company is reportedly in talks with HTC about adding its Windows Phone OS to the manufacturer’s existing Android smartphones, according to Bloomberg.
Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s operating systems unit, allegedly asked HTC last month to load Windows Phone as a secondary operating system to Android on one of its devices. Myerson even went as far as to cut the licensing fee to make it a more attractive option for HTC, Bloomberg reports. It’s unclear whether or not the separate operating systems would interact with one another or if the user would choose one as a default.
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The move would be a risky one, especially considering dual-boot devices haven’t succeeded recently the Ubuntu Edge, for instance, was designed to run on Android and Ubuntu Phone but failed to meet its crowdfunding goal earlier this year. Samsung’s first dual-booting Android and Windows 8 laptop-tablet hybrid known as the ATIV Q may have been cancelled before even coming to market, according to reports from South Korea.
The news comes just after Microsoft had seemingly planted all of its Windows Phone seeds into Nokia by purchasing the Finnish smartphone maker’s mobile division last month. It’s possible that Microsoft is trying to keep its relationship with HTC fresh after the Nokia acquisition. But details on the alleged deal are still scarce.
Windows Phone is still trailing behind Android and iOS with 3.7 percent of the smartphone market share as of Q2 2013, as the IDC reports. Android commands a monstrous 79 percent of the smartphone market, while Apple placed in second with 13 percent. Meanwhile, HTC posted declining sales and a third quarter loss of $101 million in the three month period that ended in September.
Microsoft’s intentions seem reasonable: win over Android users by sticking Windows Phone on a hot device such as the HTC One. The goal would be to get users to switch to Windows Phone OS permanently after using the two operating systems side-by-side. It certainly seems like an unconventional way to snag smartphone market share, but we won’t know for sure until HTC or Microsoft make an official announcement.