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Will Microsoft release an Android phone? This and more on #AskDanWindows 56.

On this episode of #AskDanWindows I take your questions on Windows Core OS and when to expect it from Microsoft; can Intel catch up to Qualcomm's "instant on-ness;" and (again) will Microsoft release an Android-based smartphone?

Grab a coffee or other beverage and kick off the week with our latest episode!

Audience questions for episode 56

  • Is Windows Core OS going to be mentioned at the Microsoft MWC 2019 event or at Microsoft Build 2019 — @CreatorsUpdate
  • Will Microsoft release an Android-based smartphone? — @Ashmad1411
  • Do you think someday there could be an 'Always On' Windows 10 device with an Intel processor? Or will it always be an ARM thing? — @IvoFajardo
  • As Microsoft is not using UWP in most of their new products, what do you think will be the future for WCOS? — @prashbajpai1273

Thanks to everyone for the questions!

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Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

89 Comments
  • Microsoft making Android phone ? HELL NO !!!
  • But why not?
  • Ah, did you watch the video? Dan explains why not.
  • What would be in it for them? NOTHING
  • Maybe they have some hidden chess-master, tech-ninja, plan, but can't for the life of me figure out why they would pause UWP the way they have if it's the very spinal cord of Core OS? Seems like now would be the time to push the platform forward. That way when Core OS arrives there are apps to run on it. I guess this is MS we're talking about though. ;0)
  • I think at this point UWP is just an intermediate step in the transition towards PWA...although not sure how long it would take for PWA technology to be capable of replacing UWP for complex apps? About creating an Android phone...I agree with Dan...why on earth Microsoft would want to do that? With PWA I think we're moving into a future where end users may not want to know or care about the operating system :) Btw, I'm ecstatic to read the speculative reports saying Microsoft plans to open source parts of CoreOS...like I've been advocating on this forum ever since the news of possible cancellation of Andromeda because CoreOS is not evolving fast enough to be ready for prime time!
  • You guys with your delusion :))) Keep dreaming...PWAs suck at this time compared to full fledged apps, and even if PWAs evolve enough, others will succeed, MS will fail as always as long as Nadella is in charge.
  • MS is the richest or 2nd richest company today... And their SW reach...
    Norway, Miami, India, Dubai and General Electric are also working with MS either on their water or power system.
    Uncharted, Zelda, Smash Bros, Switch games, COD, BF, drone, arcade cabinet, ATM (with Hello API), surveillance cam, robotics, Azure + AI cashier, water meter, vending machine, Samsung's smart electronics / furniture, Singapore's smart city project, Australia's agriculture, ZPMC, POLITICO, SWIFT, NHS, MasterCard, Biotechnologies, LG, Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan, Delphi, Volvo, Ford, Harman, IAV, Qoros, Shell, GAP, Nike, Hololens (organ visualization, military usage, remote training, remote custom suport), etc are using MS's dev tools, middleware, business solutions or OS.
  • Azure is a smashing success no question about it. Still why is it necessary to pull the rug out from under UWP in order to build Azure? Amazon managed to build a very healthy cloud business without resorting to killling off other platforms that smaller retailers depend on. Nadella seems to think that mobile, UWP, the MS Store, and the small shop devs that built their businesses on top of them are the sacrificial lamb necessary to build Azure? By doing so, where are the UWP apps going to come from for Core OS? Are there any UWP devs left? Will they ever return after the way they’ve been treated the last 4 years?
  • I suppose what concerns me more are stats like these... https://cdn.geekwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Screen-Shot-2019-01-... Which shows chrome OS giving Windows a good old fashioned spanking in Education in the US. And we all know that what starts in the US has a way of spreading to the entire world. If Nadella just concedes light computing to Google it’s only a matter of time before these kids grow up, become decision makers, and it dawns on them that Chrome OS, the OS they cut their teeth on, is more than capable of handling the average enterprise cubicle worker’s needs. When that starts happening, and in some avante guard enterprises it already is, then whose cloud do you think they’re also going to choose?
  • I don't think that this is the case. Macs have always been popular in education in the US, but they are almost unknown in schools in Europe, Asia, Africa and India. Windows on Intel is more or less the only option in schools outside of the US, and in colleges courses simple don't use MACS for anything except specialist classes. Chromebooks and Chrome OS has almost no penetration, and I don't believe the statistics on the penetration that it does have.
  • PWA for games? No way. Too slow and you need to load the whole game into the memory.
    For computation costly application? No way.
    To access native features? Achievable, but why not just use UWP? Easier to debug.
    PWA for IOT (cashier, vending machine, fridge, water meter, drone, etc)? Not possible. The only application could go really well with PWA is
    1) don't need much computation.
    2) no need much native features.
    3) for security reason, to prevent decompiling.
    Banking app?
  • WASM + PWA will kill pretty much all native platforms. It's fast, it can be streamed, and as a PWA it has access to native APIs. It is also cross platform and supported by EVERY major vendor. It probably won't happen overnight but it will happen.
  • To be honest, there is more chance that Microsoft releases Andromeda than an Android phone.
  • What would be the point of MS releasing a phone that runs Android? They have already had the experience of losing money on phone hardware. The point of a mobile platform is to promote the services, and they are doing reasonable well with their Android and iOS software.
  • Straight out no... Now if they go the true pocket pc way, maybe something that can virtualize in a sandbox Android to use Android apps... But doubtful...
  • NO. PLEASE. NO.
    I really need full Windows on my pocket. Now I am using Android and is THE WORST OS I HAVE EVER USED. The worst. Is it really that difficult to make a Surface Go, 2 times smaller, with sim, and sell it?
    No. It is not difficult. Just make it, Microsoft. Make it.
  • Making it isn't really the hard part. Selling such a device is. The number of people looking for full Windows in their pocket would be miniscule.
  • bleached There are billions of chickens in need of plucking right this very minute - massive factories just full of them - and here you are trolling WC again.
  • He uses an ultra low end Android device. This explains his hate for Windows Phone. He's seriously pathetic
  • Is he wrong?
  • He's a troll. That's all that matters. I agree with a lot, and logic is logic, but he's a troll. That's what matters. Are you a troll too?
  • Bark all you want, but bleached is right no matter how you put it. MS ain't gonna make a useless pocket windows device that only some desperate fanboys like you would buy...stupid enough to actually pay to be a guinea pig..AGAIN :)))
  • Would a Xbox owner buy one, for XPA and xCloud, the hybrid streaming?
    How about PC browser for you to inject codes? To hide ads, to stop vids auto play, to do your automations?
    Unless, you just can't live without 100 more photo decorator, phone games and coupon apps...
  • I can't count the number of times I have heard people wish they could "inject code" with their iPhones.
  • Who gives a **** if he's right, or wrong? The reason he gets told to Stfu so much is because he's a troll, and annoying. Having an opinion, and trolling, are two different things. Now, are you condoning his trolling? Yes, or no?
  • I have a Note9, a GS7, a Lumia 950, and a broken Lumia 1500.... What do you think I don't understand about these devices, VS what you do? You haven't a clue what you're talking about, and don't understand what trolling is. It's not always about being right, or wrong; in this case it's about intentionally being annoying, and saying the same things over, and over, to get a rise out of people. If he's not trolling, the why is he here if he hates everything about Microsoft? Wait, don't tell me you're a pathetic troll too..?? ... Now, have you used WP? Are you open minded? What device do you use right now? Sounds like you're most likely the "fan boy"... Please. Don't even test me. You're better off staying in your corner, and keeping your mouth closed. Please
  • It doesn't matter if it is a niche because it doesn't exist by itself, it is part of the larger Windows Devices.
  • oh no, you don't still believe in that whole windows eco system do you?
  • I say yes.. Android blows monkey balls, but the apps are nice to have. I we could get great Surface hardware, running Windows, with Android apps, that would be just perfect.
  • Do any of you actually use Android? What's so horrible about it? It's basically the Windows of old as far as mobile goes with its customization options. I liked Windows Phone and used it for years, but it was definitely more iOS like than Windows.
  • I'm still using an Android but it's indeed a horribly designed OS.
    Every Android phone has its own unique issues, cause Android is an API-all-OEM-can-tamper OS. It's harder for OEM to push updates to users too. * Pixel3 launched with soo many issues and Note8 has bunch of other different ones e.g. Vulkan is still crippled on N7/8 and there's phone freezing issues as well. I'll switch to a palm size Win10 PC if it's available.
    1. XPA, xCloud + gamepad.
    2. OneDrive on Demand.
    3. Light Photoshop and VisualStudio usage, while waiting.
    5. Browser with my own extensions, to do automation, site mods, hide ads, stop vid autoplay, web app mods, etc.
    6. Pen for draft & note taking
    7. Some regular stuff like email, news, messenger, etc.
    I don't need phone games or 100+ photo decorators.
  • Whatever little issues the Pixel 3 had, they do not even begin to compare with the recent Windows update issues and WM10. Remember when Microsoft released the 950? It was so buggy, this website didn't even review the XL! You prefer that experience?
  • Yes.. I have a Note9, and a GS7 for my work issued phone.. Give me just a little while, and I will give you my completely unbiased assessment of WP, and Android.
  • Totally. 100% agree 🤝 with you. If they don't make it, we should!!!! 😀😀😀😑😶😣 Android is a mess and security wise - what security!!! There is a reason that many companies only use Windows and iOS phones. Andromeda device would be a massive hit if they do ut right, AND actually tell peeps 😃 about it.
  • I'm not really too worried about security with Android.
  • What do you need full Windows in your pocket for? And no, Android is not the worst OS. I'm loving my Android phone with Microsoft Launcher and SwiftKey.
  • You are right, Tizen by Samsung is worse. Still, Android is very very flawed.
  • Android is an api-all-oem-can-tamper OS, go figure...
  • Sounds like a recipe for a great selling, hugely popular operating system. Google did it right, while Microsoft did it totally wrong. Who knew catering to the OEMs would make them use and promote your platform?
  • Whoever said Android was the worst OS?... See, immaturity.
  • Yes. I want Windows OS in my pocket. What can I really do with the small screen? I don't care! Just make one, Surface brand or not, a phone with windows inside.
  • Because Windows has enough phone optimized apps... sure...
  • Astoria could fill the gap. Supposedly Android apps ran better than on Android, Unfortunately they also ran better than UWPs and supposedly that is why it was killed.
  • No, they didn't run better than UWPs. Where did you even this crap? Astoria was scrapped, largely because the performance was godawful.
  • The worst OS? So dramatic.
  • If they did they would probably only do so in the United States... Ha ha ha...
  • I would love a Pocketable MS device that could run Windows apps. That would be the best of both worlds.
  • What Windows apps lmao.
  • You do know windows has the largest amount of applications for any os by a monumental number, right?
  • Desktop apps, classic win32 apps! Run those on a touch screen that small. You barely run them on a 12" touch screen with windows 10's mediocre touch UI, let alone on a smaller screen...but hey let's just write stupid comments like a desperate fanboy and hope others will join.
  • No, actually I meant Android apps, but it won't let me edit my comment.
  • I meant Android apps🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄
  • Seriously, your delusion is beyond measure...running a desktop OS on a 6" screen..running desktop non touch apps on a 6" screen? How desperate can you be?
  • You don't need those... maybe photoshop (or Photoshop Element) or VisualStudio for some quick job while waiting. Apps from the store should cover majorities' basic needs.
    1. XPA, xCloud + gamepad.
    2. OneDrive on Demand.
    3. Browser with my own extensions, to do automation, site mods, hide ads, stop vid autoplay, web app mods, etc.
    4. Pen for draft & note taking.
    5. Some regular stuff like email, news, messenger, etc.
    No phone games or 100+ photo decorators or coupon apps, but why do you those?
  • I meant Android apps, as I've been saying recently.. Don't question me. Watch your mouth.
  • A windows android phone is called Microsoft Launcher, and all the various Office applications accessable through the app Store.
  • Office Launcher is sort of boring and miserable.
  • Microsoft Launcher is Windows version of iOS but on Android. So yes, I agree.
  • I'm using Launcher, but it's kinda boring, and definitely doesn't like Windows. So, no
  • Err why not offer Samsung phones with most of their bloatware stripped out. The current phones in the Microsoft store is still filled with Samsung crap.
  • Samsung phones are ugly, screens shape sux etc.
  • They aren't perfect but for the time being I don't trust anything owned by Chinese companies. I still remember when Lenovo got in trouble for their adware crap. It's the same reason Australia will not allow China to bid on their major telecommunication setup.
  • Satya, isn't interested... He want everything MS to be a companion or to complement Android and iOS, he's not interested in having exclusive hardware.
  • Unfortunately this won't happen and in a way dose not need to. Android and iOS use all the Microsoft apps anyone would need. For me I perfer wp10 over any other os but let's face it it failed lack of apps and Microsoft buying Nokia is what killed it fully. Nokia made the os its own when they brought out the Lumia phones but it was not enough. Ide love to see a new wp hit the market but I just don't see it. You never know stranger things have happened.
  • If you can beat them... hijack them... “android+wcos hybrid phone”
  • Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?
    Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?
    Subtle innuendos follow
    Must be something inside
  • UWP is almost not bad... except Microsoft cheaped out and only provided sh1tty GUI components for free....also the compile is insanely slow to compile even a small program... it’s almost as terrible as andriod studio which sucks balls also when compiling... I can’t even figure out how andriod managed to gain so many apps with such a sh1tty java compiler that takes forever... and keeps downloading crap over and over... I feel my hair falling out just thinking about it...compared to old windows compiler for non-UwP app, the build environment which was super fast to the point you can wastefully keep hitting the recompile button without even caring about it... you just hit recompile 5 times in a row because who cares it doesnt waste time...that’s the main reason windows developer hate uwp... that and it’s quirky as heck ... they have all the strange navigator widgets that look like sheep compared to something you could do 2000%better using web page tech... well you might as well not use UwP and embed a web browser in your application... that’s how crappy the free UWP navigator widget components are..., provided by Microsoft...
  • You should have tried developing on for Windows 1 or DR GEM, on the sort of hardware that was state of the art then :-)
  • You’re right about the lousy, and buggy, UWP controls that come with Visual Studio. I found out a few months ago though that Syncfusion has a community license for hundreds of their components for free to shops with fewer than 5 devs and under a million a year in sales. But agree. MS themselves should do a better job providing quality components. Maybe they should buy Syncfusion?
  • Fire Capt. Nutmeg
  • If they were to release an android pho e I would bet it'd be much like the Amazon Android devices with a locked down android MS own store. Launcher et al.
  • I think even the Amazon devices have the Play Store now.
  • "Will Microsoft release an Android phone?" No. The world does not need another Android phone.
  • They sure won't be releasing an IOS phone either.
  • Hey, how do I find Ask Dan on pocket casts?
  • :)) Now this I've gotta see. These morons would find a way to fail with this one as well. Their incompetence is beyond measure.
  • With the Microsoft Launcher and the Samsung phones with Android on in the Microsoft store they kind of already have made a phone with Android on it. One could say Samsung is the hardware vendor and google is the software vendor and Microsoft then delivers the final touch that makes the phone behave like a Windows phone with the world of Android apps. In fact my Samsung galaxy S8 with Microsoft Launcher plus your phone app on it behaves almost like my Lumia 950 XL We just need an outlook app with dark mode and a better UI to finalize the transit completely 😁
  • Behave like a windows phone? We are soooo far from that.
  • Thank God. Windows phone was a terrible experience, only the biggest fanboys enjoyed it.
  • Windows phone had real multitasking where multiple instances of an app would remain suspended and able to go to rather than only one. Android and iOS suck because of this.
  • Sure, when hell freezes over
  • I'm going to go with … no. Android is already a very crowded marketplace, and a lot of companies have been doing this for a lot longer than Microsoft, and have more experience than them. Microsoft barely marketed Windows handsets, and barely knew what to do with them once they were released. I think that it's going to stick with software in this one.
  • Go Sounders! You just earned a bit more respect, Daniel!
  • can they build up a Windows Phone functionality in Android the way Amazon made their own Android phone?
    or does the basic guts of Android not allow for things like app multi tasking or UI design?
  • MS release an android? What a silly notion when they can't even get their foldable out before at least 3 other companies. You just have to wonder if Andromeda was anything more than a windows central rumor because it sure doesn't seem to be something that MS, or rather Nadella, ever really planned to do.
  • will MS be hip and hype again one day?
  • I can see Microsoft releasing a WoA phone, since they practically already have a couple: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FzmpOr4HN8&t=0s&index=2&list=FLWv_sIz6z... Tweak it to actually run on the hardware and you'd have a beast!
  • If you want to know whether or not Microsoft will develop a product, ask yourself one question: Can they sell it to the government in the millions ? If yes, then it's almost a sure bet.
    If not, I wouldn't count on seeing it. Microsoft has almost a generational contract with the DOD to be their operating system / office client with something close to 5M individual licenses for both Windows and Office. So if it can't find a place there , it won't be made.