Microsoft's Satya Nadella sits down with the developers behind CyanogenMod

Satya Nadella

Cyanogen is a startup behind the popular Android mod, which is preloaded on the affordable One Plus One smartphone. What makes this interesting is how numerous big brands are watching the company as a potential purchase or partner. According to The Information, Microsoft is one of these companies and Satya Nadella has previously sat down with the folk behind CyanogenMod. Since the version of Android is picking up steam, it's clear to see how the company could be viewed as a potential acquisition or partner.

Fans of CyanogenMod in the Android community boast about how they prefer the mod experience over what Google provides with main OEM manufacturers. If Cyanogen continues to grow within the Android ecosystem, it could provide multiple opportunities for Microsoft, one being to more effectively provide services and apps without having to deal with Google directly. We already know how sensitive and strained the relationship between the two giants is, just look at the YouTube mess on Windows Phone, which has still not been addressed in almost four years.

What Microsoft would do with Cyanogen is unknown at this point in time, but there are certainly reasons why Nadella (and Microsoft as a whole) would be interested. There's also the whole Nokia X thing.

Source: The Information


Reader comments

Microsoft's Satya Nadella sits down with the developers behind CyanogenMod



I would install it on my nexus 4 if that happens. Nexus is sitting in drawer collecting dust atm. Only gets powered up when I need to deposit a check sigh.

If that was even a remote possibility, the Nokia X Android would not have been killed off the moment Microsoft took over Nokia.


There are real technical reasons that Microsoft would be insane/foolish to backtrack to Android. They would be better off running their own Android VM on top of WP, which NT is easily capable of doing.


Speaking from an OS engineering standpoint, Android was damaged when Google picked it up, and it hasn't gotten significantly better in several years now.



I completely agree with your comment on Android being a mess. I've started working with it properly and its just a hunk of crap. Easily able to manipulate it. But its sooooo unreliable and so many hidden services that shouldn't even be there. And Java's JiT is something smartphones should not have.

I agree and I owned 2 Androids before switching to WP when WP8 came out. Also looked at Android for business and it was a mess to deal with. Unless the company is using google apps, it garbage.

I see that you are the "think outside the box" kind of person. But I think you are way too far from the box.

I don't know I think MS would use it either within WP or keep the love tiles format for their is and give OEMs a way to differentiate themselves. They invested a lot in line tiles even patented it just to go out and kill it.

A longshot posibility would be to acquire these folks for their android OS knowhow in hopes of being able to run Android apps on WP.... but that's probably more directly achievable with a BlueStacks acquisition/parternship.  Microsoft already has strong efforts to bring their apps and services to the Android platform... so not sure what value CyanogenMod would have other then a tie-in to MS services.

Trust me, I know the evils of allowing Android apps to run on WP... why would devs build WP apps if Android apps run fine?  And 350k apps is nothing to sneeze at.  But there is still the perception that WP has less apps and lags behind in app features on many big-name apps that are on WP.  So "Runs Android Apps" may be a poweful marketing tool. 

I'd rather see something like an app adapter that lets devs write their Android apps in their usual language and frameworks of choice, but have a small adapter to do the WP OS specific stuff that would make their apps shine on WP with little effort.

Bluestacks is Android ARM emulation on x86. 


If Microsoft wanted to run Android Apps on WP, it is already ARM, so they wouldn't need to do hardware emulation, just a light translation layer via NT's subsystem technologies. (Even running Android on x86/x64 Microsoft would be better off leveraging technologies inside NT whether it is the kernel client/server model or even just plugging in HyperV.)


Isn't bluestacks android x86 emulation on windows ? Because it's too resource consuming to emulate an architecture on top of other.

Actually BlueStacks wouldn't be a good solution. All it does is to run a customized SDK emulator, nothing more.

If MS is ever to make a "Run Android Apps" stunt, they will either use libhybris or buy BlackBerry's solution. But most definitely not BlueStacks.

great points on the BlueStacks angle.  I forgot about the ARM vs x86 bit.  Yeah, WP is already on ARM...

What Android support would need is the following:

  • An Android-WP compatibility library -- for converting Android API calls into WP specific stuff, drawing the UI, etc.
  • An Android-WP NAPI compatibility library -- libhybris for WP. Convert bionic C library calls into WP native hooks
  • A Dalvik/ART engine to run the Android apps -- only if the first item can not be done completely.

Now, these are all possible, but I don't think Microsoft will work heavily on it. If there will ever be an actual Android Compatibility Layer, it will suck so much that Android apps will barely be usable - and that works for Microsoft because this will force developers even further to make an actual WP app.

Running Android stuff on WP sounds foolish. Throw out any hope of native software because then devs can just shrug and say, "We made one for the Droid."

Microsoft's services preinstalled on CyanogenMod and Bing as the default search engine? I say yes.
Hopefully the "Android=Google" thing won't be valid anymore in a few years.

Depends on your definition of 'open source'.  If you are refering to the common GPL type licenses, that will NEVER happen.  Those licenses are too restrictive and blanket attempt to 'open' up more than the author's original intent. GPLv3 for example.



As for providing the OS for free or portions of the code via Free Licensing, that is possible, but probably won't happen as there is information in how NT works that Apple/Sun/IBM/Intel would LOVE to get their hands on use, giving away all Microsoft's research and development leverage that they invested into NT.


But cyanogen is google certified and comes with Google Apps, will google drop certification if they do this.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

They would immediately lose Google's certification which is the same as saying they'd immediately lose their users. 

Doubtful, that would be no different than when MS tried to strong arm OEMs into only selling Windows machines or keeping other browsers from being preloaded. Google would get sued and lose just like MS lost.

Umm... except that is exactly the deal Google already has with all its OEMs. Remove any one of Google's services, and lose the right to all of them including the play store and the right to call it android. This has been so for years already.

Who said anything about removal? The premise is, if Google withdraws because of MS software going on there too, Google will get sued and lose.

No, if it makes Google play fairly, or react in a way to benefit WP, then we should be all for it..
Pissing Google of is the last thing MS wants to do especially when Google has the upper hand with apps that most average consumer use.. Lets be honest, and mature here..

You mean that apps that we already don't have which is why we all dislike goggle, oh have u seen a single app made by google I our store and that piece of ish YouTube wrapper they gave us doesn't count

Google didn't make that app, Microsoft did. They originally had a full featured YouTube app, but it was forced to be removed because Google doesn't want to play nice.

I believe the only app published in either the Windows 8 or Windows Phone store by Google is their Google search app. A very bare-bones app indeed.

Yes, those apps! It doesn't matter whether "we all" dislike Google because the Average consumer doesn't dislike Google... Get real❗

No, be smart... Like I said, Google has the upper hand here, and is showing COMPLETELY no sign of giving it up to Microsoft... Google has something that MS DESPERATELY needs, and y'all think it's a good idea for MS to piss Google off.... OK.

Google has done nothing but throw dirt in Microsoft's face and more importantly, ours as well. They do not hold the upper hand as MS can probably fund all of their WP expenses off of what they make from Android royalties from OEMs and still profit.

Google doesn't have the upper hand as far as their services go? Lol!! That's dumbest thing I've ever heard... Even MS would disagree with that BS...
Yeah, and MS can fund all if WP's expenses off of Google, but still can't get over 5% market share, or turn a profit.. Get real! We can be hardcore WP fans, and not be blind sheep at the same time..

Lol, you are pulling your opinions out of thin air with no stats. Office 365 alone is at $1.5 billion per year revenue rate compared to Google Business Apps $1 billion. This doesn't even include Microsoft Azure revenue which dwarfs Googles Business services at a blistering $4.4 billion in annual revenue at a 147% growth rate.... Microsoft's true competitor in the cloud space is Amazon who is currently at over $5 Billion in annual revenue from cloud services but lagging at a 38% growth rate. Google does not break down it's cloud revenue, but it is estimated that are on a run rate to achieve roughly $2 billion in cloud revenue and roughly a 40% growth rate.

Want a good read on the difference between the services offered, read this article.



That has nothing to do with what I'm talking about.. You're just complicating things.. I didn't say that Google has the upper hand over everything that MS does.. I'm saying that Google has the upper hand as far as their Google apps that a lot of people complain about WP not having.. Those apps are important whether you want to open your mind, and believe it, or not...
Quit being such defensive naive WP fans, and you'll see peoples points.. It's not that hard to understand, and its fact!

It's not about what Google can do to hurt MS more.. It's about what can be done to improve the relationship between MS, and Google...
I've never seen so many backwards thinking people on one post.

your stats are wrong. office had at run rate of 2.5 billion in april. but in june mdft cloud had a run rate of 4.4 billion including office365 and azure. Google cloud is about 1.2 billion total.

Dude, that's besides the point.. But, to awnswer your question.... It's not WP that is helping MS profit from Google.. It's those patents that MS owns that are the reason.. WP has nothing to do with that.. WTF are you talking about?..... Dude, just stop.

Google has absolutely no say over anything Windows. Pissing them off can't hurt WP. The apps has everything to do with the devs, google can't prevent the WP store from growing. All they can do is block of their own google apps, oh wait.... They already doing that...

Yoh Rodney, chill out bra.

Peter: no they won't be able to block Google apps. They will only be in control of a android deviation, similar to touch wiz found on Samsung's galaxy series. They will have no control over any Google apps or services. At most they will gain talented programmers and a very nice android OS - which they may or may not use on a future Nokia device.

And on THAT device only, they may block google apps, which i doubt, i think they would instead of blocking google services encourage msft services.

Why are you telling me to chill out?.. Your point has nothing to do with what I was saying... It's totally misguided.... ???? Explain.

You bashing out at someone who clearly doesn't know what such an acquisition will mean for MSFT or google. Why not instead of being all rude, help the guy out and explain to him what could happen?

Don't all emotional on me, dude.. Come on. We don't have time for that this Saturday afternoon..
Just stay on topic.

I just find it unnecessary for a bunch of Phone enthusiasts to be rude to one another just because they have different opinions. But yeah lets stop here.

I believe so yes. I'm replying on your statement that msft shouldn't piss of Google. I think doing that will have absolutely no negative impact on msft. Google is already blocking everything they can. Other than Google APS Google can't hurt msft

Exactly... What people don't realize, is that Google needs Microsoft to survive. Microsoft could care less if Google existed.

This would be the total extreme, bit imagine:
1- Windows pcs no longer run google chrome and IE can't use google as default search engine
2- msft retracts all patents used by android, rendering crucial parts of the OS, like email, useless until android finds another way.
Two stupid things that will never happen i know, but google needs Msft

Dude.. You are still missing my point.. Its like you're talking to someone else, or making arguments up by yourself... That has nothing to do with what my original comment is saying... Who cares if Google needs MS... That's irrelevant... The talk is about Google apps on WP, and when it comes to that Google has the upper hand because its their decision... What is so hard to understand about that?
And, whoever said that Google doesn't rely on MS?.... Just so I know who I'm talking to can you first tell me your age?

Yeah sure, 18 year old white male from South Africa doing a bachelors of commerce in business management and marketing, not sure how that would help you but lets get back to the point.

In not replying to your original post, I'm replying on the conversation that sprang from that post, specifically in this case from sunnyspecv talking about how MSFT actually has the upper hand and not like you said "google has the upper hand over everything MSFT does"

You're saying that I said that Google has the upper hand over everything MS does?... Wow! You really are imagining things.. I see.

And once again ol' rod doesn't disappoint in being the rudest comment on mobile nations. I'll just stop talking coz your kinda keen of taking this conversation to a very unnecessary personal level...

Yeah, but pissing Google off now doesn't in any way provide a chance for good relations between the two in the future... MS can't afford to have that "screw it" attitude that you're suggesting if they want Google to support WP in the future... And, trust me.. MS wants, and needs, Google to support WP...

Yeah no that's true. But i think after all that they have done thus far it's kind of clear that google won't support MSFT. Anyways, MSFT won't be evil in a way like that haha so this is al hypothetical discussions anyway

Actually, Microsoft was evil before but thanks to the judges in particularly Europe and South Korea, they cannot be evil anymore. (I don't even count China as Microsoft will go there soon to clear up the Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer misunderstandings.) Google was a Internet advertisment startup before they got YouTube and Android OS, so they were humble while Microsoft was evil.

But after they acquired YouTube, Google's evil side started to show, YouTube was a open video service that don't care about third-party copyrights so long their own licenses were used but when Google bought the service, they discontinued YouTube's open licenses and forced users to respect third-party copyrights or get their videos removed and their Google accounts terminated if the fourth strike is issued.

Much worse, when Google bought Android OS they knocked the former Nokia Mobile and Symbian off the "King of Mobiles" throne during Google's third year of redeveloping Android, and for a OS meant for digicams turned into one for all mobile devices doing that to a established mobile OS was insane.

Well... To make Google play fair, pissing it off is the right way :-) MS already asked Google politely to make an app. And the answer is still NO. Then why take that path??? If we can reduce the usage of Google in Android, Google will definitely look for increasing their usage in other platforms for sure.

No.... No... Then we end up with the same fragmented OS problem Android suffers from.

I like Microsoft's current approach (that they've been doing with Windows on the desktop for years): Microsoft says to OEMs, "Ok, WE build and control the OS, you don't get to touch. Instead, you all build hardware and apps + firmware around said hardware. But the core OS is for us to control."

Since that "fragmented OS" problem does not stop people from getting an Android device for majority of smartphone buyers, I don't think it is a problem, more like a talking point people who don't like Android like to bring up.

Because we know how educated all smartphone buyers are, and they aren't at all persuaded by salespeople who tend to, especially on Verizon, heavily push Android and damn Windows Phone for its lack of apps. /s

While not as bad as some hype it up to be, there's still the fact that most of the mainstream flagship Android phones (in the US, at least) all have different UIs for the most part, with very different experiences offered by each UI. This isn't a bad thing by itself, but it does mean that when you buy a new Android phone, you could very well have to relearn the entire UI (You know, the same thing that people love to complain is holding them back from Windows 8?)/

Not to mention how, while getting better, Android still has very unreliable updates. Windows Phone isn't a perfect update process by any means, but it's still more consistent than Android's.

Android is a weird experience, because it's so open. That isn't bad in of itself, but I don't like it, and the less tech iterate typically want simpler. Again, the main reason a lot of people are still buying Android is because salespeople like to push it heavily, and also Android devices tend to be cheaper.

I have two friends who were set to buy Windows Phones, but then Verizon salespeople convinced them to go Android at the last second. These friends still have no idea how to use their phones, and occasionally say, "Yeah... I should've gotten a Nokia or an Apple, I don't know what I'm doing."

Let's not forget heroin was once sold as a children's cough medicine, and people bought it. Steve Jobs knew this well: The consumer doesn't always know what's best for them.

You are arguing non existing points that have nothing to do with what I said. Again, people continue to buy Android device daily. OS Updates don't matter to the end consumer they rarely ever have. It is a phone, not brain surgery if someone finds Android complicated by now, I truly worry about how people are with Windows 8 for that matter. 

Android(and brands) loves (intended) fragmenting. So people buy and buy new phones whenever new version of OS comes out. So its a matter of money money money hahaha!

You have any idea how shocked people are when i tell them: "your software is 3gens old, and you won't ever be able to upgrade" ?? The average user has absolutely no idea about anything on their smartphone. They buy a galaxy or xperia because "it's cool" or "the guy in the store dais is the best"

It's true. For Microsoft to succeed, they need cool factor from the like of Apple and Samsung. Low, mid, and high end phones at every carrier. Salespeople need to help push Windows Phone and not just steer you to iphones or Android.

You have any idea how shocked people are when i tell them: "your software is 3gens old, and you won't ever be able to upgrade" ??


Who asks this in a normal conversation, stop trying to validate your choice in smartphone by attempting to belittle Android. That is not a question  would ask IRL EVER. And what the hell kind of phone is 3 years behind on software that someone might be still behind on? They would have to have a phone with Gingerbread or Froyo for your statment to be remotely true. And by latest Android OS numbers, you would be hard pressed to find someone with a phone that old.

#1 - "so what do you like more about your WP than my android phone?" , "well for starters, i get constant updates for at least 3 years, by which time i would have already replaced my phone, you don't. You have to stick with the software with which you bought your phone" , "oh really? I didn't know that!" (yes, some get one update sooner or later, but most just don't)

#2 - if you would calm down and read again, you might realise that i said 3 generations not 3 years. And before you go on another rampage: when I'm talking about 'gens' i might of used the wrong word choice because that would refer to android 1.0 or 2.0. Lets rather use the word "release". In which case we would be referring to android 4.1 or 4.2 which millions still use.

Now..... Shut your mouth and stop being a d1ck! If you have any Common sense at all you would see that those are totally legitimate arguments! It's stupid ignorant fools like you that start ' my phone is better than yours' arguments. If you don't like people who love WP then get the fu£k of WPC!

Lol, half of your comment is not even relevant to my comment at all. And yes you should have been more specific and detailed in part to that 3gen statement. I have very good common sense and YOU need to chill out. You are the one trying to validate their purchase not me. And people like you foget this is MOBILE NATIONS, open forums, open comments, don't like something keep it moving. 

Dude its completely relevant. 1 was to your statement that it would never be dais in a conversation so i have you an example of how it would be. 2 was to explain to you that there's a huge difference between 3 releases back and "3 years" back like you claim.

It is very clear to me that your an ignorant person by your above comment. Anyway, it's late in my country, have a nice one. Thanks for totally not contributing to this discussion. :)

Is not part of my argument, is just apart of the part where I inform him how very unpleasant of a conversation this was for me because of his ignorance :)

That assumes you're perfectly right and he's perfectly wrong.

Not at all true for a subjective argument. I agree with the points you're making, but I don't like it when people have a "holier than thou" attitude.

I disagree with him, but to say he's ignorant is a bit much, seeing as his argument isn't unknowledgeable, just different.

Then tell my friends using carrier blocked xperias or HTC or samesungs because I didn't have that problem with my 5230 which had updates until the whole Symbian platform was doomed, and the same with newer devices just that with ICS or JB

You are very boring. Windows phone needs open source development. This will boost sales of Windows phone again.

"there's also the whole Nokia X thing" ...which was cancelled...? Lol what does Nokia X have to do with this besides them both being made from Android

How hard is it to get an Xbox app to run on Windows 8 / Windows Phone 8? I'm guessing Windows 8 it's too easy, maybe Windows 9 will address this kinda thing.

Universal app support with XB1 is not coming in Windows threshold although MS showed something to that effect(partially working) at their build conference this year but made it clear that the fully functioning universal support for XB1 apps is at least an year away.
Windows 8.1 and WP8.1 can already share apps if developers enable it.

On Xbox One, even.  Which has a far, FAR smaller userbase than Windows Phone and will probably NEVER sell as much as WP has.  Makes you wonder what the deal is ...

It is because it is in the Living Room or TV viewing space in people's homes. 


Google will do whatever they can to make YouTube become a 'provider' offering channels and content, and they have to be present in the living room area of people's homes to pull off giving YouTube credibility to compete with other online services.


If they never 'fix' the problems with YouTube that prevent it from becoming this, it won't happen, but in the meantime, they also make good revenue off of the advertisements.  (This is why they were angry with the Microsoft version of the YouTube WP App, as it sometimes circumvented Google's advertising because of the format they deliver Ad content. Watch for the YouTube App to reappear, possibly - although IE11 on WP8.1 handles the YouTube website better than Google dedicated YouTube Apps on other platforms.)

Yea we have one but doesn't run like it should, the best app was the first w8 YouTube they released until they threatened Microsoft for building it then made us build the crap we currently have now

Unfortunately, for new smartphone buyers who don't follow the tech news, they'll see that app published, download it because it's the "official" YouTube app, and quickly be left with a sour taste in their mouth.

Windows Phone has indeed taught be third-party solutions can often be much greater than what first-parties may offer, but you still need that "official" first-party stuff to lure people in, and let them branch out to unofficial stuff later.

They can do it even now and Microsoft even made the controversial YouTube App after Oogle pulled theirs out of the WP store..

If you say so. I saw it as a team effort between MS and Nokia on the apps end. Nokia courted developers yes but MS also made changes to the OS to accommodate developer requests too.

"kkk" is what folks in Brasil use instead of "lol". Brazilians have the very annoying habit of "Brazilianizing" english. "kkk" stands for "kakaka" which is what the rest of the World knows has "ahahah". lol

No, no... KKK is what racist DJCBS says when he can't get the latest WP device made by Microkia Mobility.... Lol. :-)

If cyanogenmod can provide Windows Phone with more customizability and something different than the stock windows phone experience, it could be very interesting.

I don't quite think that's what they have in mind.... but I'm not 100% sure what it is they have in mind.

This is the Android you have when you're not having Android. If Microsoft are involved... why and to what extent. If without Google I'm guessing they'll need key services which Microsoft seem happy to help with.

Satya will buy Cyanogenmod and compete with Oogle in the Droid race!! OS VS OS And have it installed in the Nokia X Series(even promote some WP exclusive apps) and then Microsoft will have one hand in WP and other in the Droid!!And if either loses momentum then no problem there is another OS to work on!! Perfect way to the top!!

A company just has to earn profits..Even now Microsoft is earning the same amount as Oogle due the patents it has under its name!!

Microsoft makes majority of it's cash from enterprise related things. Consumer facing side was never their biggest cash cow. Microsoft makes a few billions off patents, but considering that they had their own mobile OS for 4 years now, shouldn't they be making money off their own stuff? And Microsoft is not nearly as valuable as Google right now. And please can at least attempt to say the full names? It is Google, not Oogle.

MS (I'm sorry, Microsoft) has had its own mobile OS far longer than 4 years ago... It's what Droid (I'm sorry, Android) /aka Oogle used as a basis for their OS.

S (I'm sorry, Microsoft) has had its own mobile OS far longer than 4 years 

No it didn't WP (not Windows Mobile), has been around for 4 years. And even if you count WM, that makes it even sadder how they have less than 3% marketshare now.


It's what Droid (I'm sorry, Android) /aka Oogle used as a basis for their OS.


No again. Android was nothing like Windows Mobile. And they sure as hell didn't use it as a basis. Where do you get your info? 



See it's just that I hate Oogle and Droid from the bottom of mah heart and have taken a pledge to stop using it's products and callin their names properly!! And it's good that ye are also following my small campaign!! :p :p

msft net cash 61 billion. google net cash 52 billion. 


oh u are talking about that stupid thing call market cap, yeah by a few billions that can change in a day. go on and apply value to that.

Lolwut? Yeah just agreed with me and then say it can change in a day, when it definitely can not. Hell, Google was named the most valuable brand on the planet over Apple. I am not trying to knock Microsoft down a peg, they are still a tech giant, but out of the two, Google has the most to brag about right now.