Microsoft is in talks with HTC to get its Windows Phone operating system loaded onto the manufacturer's Android phones as a second OS, according to reports from Bloomberg. Terry Myerson, head of the software giant's operating systems unit, is reported to have reached out to HTC over allowing its Android devices to dual-boot into Windows Phone, with the reduction or elimination of licensing fees purportedly being offered as an incentive. Myerson is planning a visit to Taiwan to meet with HTC execs over the proposal, the outlet's sources say.
Additionally, one Bloomberg source claims HTC has no current plans to release any more standalone Windows Phone handsets, which might explain Microsoft's apparent desire to shoehorn its OS onto future HTC phones through a dual-booting option.
We've heard from our own sources that HTC has indeed been looking at the engineering cost of making an Android/Windows Phone dual-booting handset a reality. It's unclear how far the project might have progressed, however, nor whether Google might attempt to throw a wrench in the works by blocking certification of such a device. Indeed, it's hard to see how Microsoft's piggy-backing on sales of HTC Android phones would directly benefit anyone besides Microsoft. Users, for instance, would be presented with two wildly divergent software experiences — and marketing this kind of handset could present its own problems.
Windows Phone commands just a 3.7 percent share of the smartphone market, which Microsoft will be looking to increase through its recent agreement to purchase partner Nokia's smartphone division. Similarly, HTC has been struggling to compete against Korean rival Samsung, which dominates the Android handset space, and today posted a $101 million quarterly operating loss. If the two were to co-operate on a phone that dual-boots between Android and Windows, it'd certainly be one of the most unusual smartphone software pairings we've seen in some time.
So would you buy a dual-booting Android and Windows Phone handset? Shout out in the comments and let us know!