More Evidence That Microsoft Might Cozy Up to Android
We've been predicting it for years, and now it looks like it's really happening: Microsoft is finally realizing that the way to escape from its mobile technology woes is to embrace Android. At least that's what is implied by a Wall Street Journal report that says Nokia plans to deliver a forked Android smartphone at the upcoming Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. Nokia is just about to be acquired by Microsoft, so the move--which is only attributed to unnamed sources at this point--would put Microsoft in the Android business.
Talk of these developments arose a few weeks ago, as I covered in this post. There was growing conviction that Nokia, which stumbled with some of its efforts to quickly create a viable, mobile, open source operating system, may have had an Android phone in the works for a while.
Computerworld makes an interesting point about how Google might react to a Nokia Android phone:
"Why would Google care? Because the phone won't support the Google Play app store and the apps in it that generate a percentage of profits for Google. Instead, the Nokia device will have Nokia's Here maps installed along with Mix Radio and a Nokia app store."
Mobile World Congress is a big mobile event, and it's no surprise that Nokia and Microsoft aren't commenting, but it's looking likely that we'll see an Android phone from Nokia at the conference.
Meanwhile, it's worth noting that Microsoft's new CEO, Satya Nadella (shown above), is entering his new job with a great deal of pressure on him to make the company an innovator again. He has to realize that Microsoft is behind in the mobile technology game. In this post, I discussed the many benefits he could get from embracing open source, including Android.
Through Android, Microsoft could steer both its smartphone and tablet efforts toward a more standardized and accepted platform path. It might imply some uncomfortable elbow bumping with Google, but Microsoft has worked well with many big partners and might be able to create interesting synergies with the company.
One thing's for sure: It's going to be very interesting to see how both Nadella and the Nokia acquisition usher in change at Microsoft. With the Gates/Ballmer era over, the Redmond software giant might start to surprise people again.
Image Credit: Microsoft