Microsoft can revive Windows phones by switching to Android

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Microsoft’s phones have never been very popular among users. Actually, the company’s decision to acquire Nokia is one of the less inspired decisions it’s ever taken. As a result, Microsoft wisely let go of the Nokia brand this year and is now betting it all on the upcoming Surface Phone.

Let’s assume the Surface Phone becomes very popular and convinces users to give the Windows Mobile platform a second chance. While this smartphone packs impressive specs and features, not all users will afford to buy it. Of course, this won’t help Microsoft bite a bigger chunk off the phone market.

How about the previous Windows phone models? Could Microsoft make them more appealing to users? We believe the answer is yes. If Redmond becomes more flexible and installs Android on its phones, chances are more potential buyers will purchase them.

Of course, doing so means that Microsoft would give up on its ambition to deliver a unique OS and experience on all its platforms. After all, this is one of the main goals of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update OS. But according to NetMarketShare, Windows Phone has a 2.79% market share, while Android dominates the mobile market with a solid 66% market share.

Second, Android on Microsoft’s phones doesn’t look bad at all. A recent experiment performed by a hacker revealed what Android Marshmallow looks like on Lumia 525. Apart from the slow bootup sequence, which is normal, Android is pretty fluid on Lumia 525.

Third, thanks to the Secure Boot leak, it’s only a matter of time until tech savvy users will be able to install Android themselves. Microsoft is trying hard to patch this vulnerability, but hackers say the tech company can’t revoke the leaked Secure Boot policies. It seems that Pandora’s box has been opened for Microsoft.

Fourth, others do it. Take a look at RIM, a company that has been struggling for years to survive on the market. RIM launched its first Android phone last year, the BB Priv — even if it hasn’t been very successful.

Fifth, by installing Android on its phones, Microsoft solves the app barrier problem. Users will be able to download any app they wish and this also means that developers will have it easier.

What do you think about this thought experiment? Is it possible that Microsoft will ever install Android on its phones? Would you buy such a phone?

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