Can Windows and Android co-exist in one phone? Microsoft (News - Alert) seems to think so, and has asked HTC to load Windows OS on its Android smartphones as a second option. Details are still being ironed out with both parties keeping quiet about the deal.
What Microsoft Hopes to Achieve
With market share at a measly 3.7%, Microsoft wants to present itself as a viable alternative to Android (News - Alert), who currently owns the biggest slice of the pie. It is not clear whether both OS would run concurrently or whether Windows would be presented as an alternative. Android holds 79% of the market share, so Microsoft hopes to attract some of those users to choose their OS over that of Android.
Normally, Microsoft collects a license fee from smartphones using a Windows OS for every handset they sell. With HTC, Microsoft is willing to lower or even eliminate this fee just to get HTC's nod. But this might not be too palatable considering that Google (News - Alert) does not charge license fees. Instead, they require Android makers to pre-install the Mountain View services such as maps and searches.
The Hurdles That Microsoft Faces
Dual OS is probably more popular with the geek crowd. Bundling their OS with Android shows superior confidence on the part of Microsoft. They probably feel that users will prefer them over Android if given the choice. Additionally, their choice of a partner is questionable. While HTC (News - Alert) once led the market in smartphone, their sales have been slipping in the last year or so.
Microsoft's latest plan to offer Windows alongside giant Android is a bold move. It will surely require a new way of thinking for smartphone users. If Microsoft is successful in this endeavor, it will be another groundbreaking idea that will change the way people use their mobile devices.