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Microsoft and HTC in talks for more devices. We could see hardware with both Android and Windows Phone installed [Updated]

When it comes to Windows Phone, Nokia controls nearly 90% of the OEM marketshare. Samsung, HTC, and Huawei make up the remaining manufacturers producing Windows Phone devices. Microsoft just agreed to purchase Nokia for 7.2 billion dollars, so what incentive do other OEMs have to continue producing devices? It looks like HTC might get a pretty sweet one to continue producing high-quality handsets. Some might even run both Android and Windows Phone. Details below.

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft and HTC are in preliminary talks that could see the licensing fee for Windows Phone dropped. The talks are obviously private, but sources claim that last month Terry Myerson asked HTC to load Windows Phone as a second option on handsets running Android. You’ll remember that Terry Myerson was recently given the role of EVP of Operating Systems, the group manages the software of Windows Phone, Windows, and Xbox.

It’s not clear if the loading Windows Phone as a second option means giving users the choice to boot between Android and Windows Phone. Or if instead, HTC will consider putting Windows Phone on all their current and future Android devices, like the HTC One. We need to stress that talks between the two are preliminary and no deal has been made. The talks involve either cutting or removing the licensing cost that OEMs like HTC have to factor into every Windows Phone device they make. While devices running Android don’t see licensing fees going to Google.

It’s also not clear if Microsoft is looking to make deals like this with other OEMs. Both HTC and Microsoft are in tough situations when it comes to the mobile landscape. When the deal between Microsoft and Nokia finalizes, it could create further alienate any potential Windows Phone OEMs. HTC just announced a $101 million operating loss for Q3 2013 and continues to face stiff competition in the Android market against Samsung.

Renegotiating the licensing fees between Microsoft and HTC could benefit both companies. You’ll see strong, compelling hardware from an OEM that isn’t from Microsoft/Nokia and it could help improve the financial bottom line for struggling HTC.

Should Microsoft reconsider the licensing fees for Windows Phone in order to attract more OEMs like HTC? Would you like Windows Phone 8 on a device like the HTC One? Sound off below.

Update: Over at Android Central, they are hearing from sources that HTC has indeed been looking into the engineering cost of making a device dual-boot Windows Phone and Android. How far along that project progressed isn’t known at the moment. Thoughts?

Source: Bloomberg

  • Just make that HTC One runs windows phone 8
  • I think thats what the Bloomberg author means. WP8 running in the hardware similar to android phones like HTC ONE.
    I don't think Microsoft would want to have dual boot with android.
  • Both options do have some benefit to Microsoft. If you're going to buy an Android device no matter what you'll never own Windows Phone. But if you can have the option to try it out on a device you own and end up liking it.. well that's a win for the Windows Phone ecosystem and all the devs. It grows marketshare either way. 
  • It'd be interesting from a marketing perspective. Two different OS in your phone, allowing you to divide your life along two distinct lines: e.g. Android for fun and play, WP for work (and vice versa).  
  • Actually I have an LG G2 with Lumia 920/720 and I'd say WP is for the whole day, Android for late at night. :)
  • I also have a g2 and a 920 . I use the g2 during the day and the 920 at night because the camera in the 920> g2 in low light shots. The camera on the g2 is simple terrible in low light and the view finder is pathetic.
  • He's referring to all the dating apps on android. W8 has Plenty of Fish but it's a joke compared to the android version. Any given night you can easily get a local date in a matter of minutes.
  • Wait people actually use dating apps on their phone?  serious question.
  • Someone say BACKPAGE user ⤴
  • I wonder how google would feel about that.
  • google schmoogle. They can feel whatever they want. They have no say in this if ya ask me.
  • "We got scroogled!!!"
  • We got micro-shafted, should be their reaction. :P
  • Yes, they do. They can disallow access to Google services from such phones.
  • Fortunately it's pretty easy to download sideload Google services if this is the case. I would be surprised if Google made such a restriction as it means hybrid HTC phones don't have Google services by default on the Android side. Google's entire purpose is to get their services infront of as many people as possible.
    Which makes me scratch my Google doesn't want to write WP8 native apps to continue to expand their services reach. I suppose they feel the HTML5 is good enough. 
  • There are too few WP8 devices are out there for Google to consider putting the money and resources necessary to produce any kind of roi worth talking about. Also, I'd guess that any other Google coded WP8 apps would be seen as a validation of the WP8 platform which, in my opinion, wouldn't be a smart move until it reaches a much higher sales volume. 
    Google is smart to invest in their own platform as heavily as possible since it's doing well in the market.
    I think Google prefers using HTML5 for apps they don't control so they can update new features in a more timely manner without having to wait for the OEM to code features for a given platform that may or may not be selling well, or worse, may be discontinued. As an additional bonus, Google is also able to create a common user experience as possible across the platforms they touch. And there is also the ability to control the ad space and gather metrics, which translates into additional, recurring revenue for Google and potentially none for the platform vendor other than the initial hardware sales.
  • Can't we all just get along?  ;-)
  • As long as they're collecting royalties on the phone because it has Android then why not? MS is already collecting the equivalent of a WP license from most Android OEMs, so why not tell them they can put WP8 on the handset for no additional charge.MS is already getting paid, they're just not getting exposure.
  • Your point makes a lot of sense. I see it as a way for the fandroids to be able to experience WP8 without having to have two separate phones. I would venture a guess that this could be wildly successful.
  • There's absolutely not benefit for MS to allow a dual booting phone made by HTC because I'm sure they would also wave the Android license fees as well which negates any monetary gain for MS. MS just make the surface phone instead of paying some one to make phones for you!!! The design queues of surface 2 are superb, bring this to a surface phone along with making sure all features user are calling for in WP8.1 are included (releasing in early 2014 once you know the Nokia deal is done) & you will finally have a device to rival Android and Apple! Stop paying people who do nothing to enhance or promote your OS outside of Nokia. In the past 3 years haven't your learned anything??
  • i dont really think a dual boot would help microsoft. The developers would just have another reason not to make WP8 apps
  • Yeah! But who's devices are people going to buy that run this option.
  • If phones start to have dual boot, then that's revolutionary. We are also looking at the OS's alone hogging about 5GB of your internal memory, so this option is ruled out in entry level phones.
  • Yes, because so many common folk have dual-boot computers. On a more important note- People throw around words too much. It wouldn't be revolutionary unless the entire computing world started dual-booting everything. Since that won't happen, it's not revolutionary. Anything that comes from computers and makes it way is evolutionary (or I guess intelligent design for you non-science folks). Evolutionary in technology would imply taking existing technology and adapting it for small form factors.
  • No, that's not revolutionary.  Nothing is revolutionary until Apple copies it.
  • :D
  • ...and then sues everyone for copying what they did "first", you know like a rectangles and rounded corners.
  • That's a problem with my HTC 8S. Its a 4GB phone which is not the best phone memory for a Windows Phone. I only have 193.39MB left.
  • Dual-boot phone is the only way that WP can build up some meaningful numbers in US market quick.  You can't just rely on the L520.  The app gap is getting wider and wider.  It would be very tough for WP to catch up Android.  The dual-boot is a sure way to help WP penetrating into Android world.  A dual-boot L1020 with Snapdragon 800 processor will certainly be a hot selling product.  You basically use the Android as a promotion tool along with the 41MP camera to push WP forward.
  • Dual boot will be available (if its possible) with other OEMS. Not with Nokia. So rule out the assumption of L1020 getting a dual boot.
  • I see no dual boot for Lumias to be a good thing.
  • I agree. I will not buy a phone that has Android on it ever.
  • +1020
    I will never by any product with Android on it, even a TV or washing machine.
  • But the millions of Android users probably would.  MS is now anxiously to push for numbers.  One way is to sell more low end phones.  The high end phones, especially in US market, are lukeworm at best.  Hopefully, MS will eventually see the value of dual-boot phone which will help pushing up the numbers.  The higher numbers mean more WP licenses sold and also encourge more developers to jump into app development foray. 
  • I agree, this is NOT a good thing, at least not for average smart phone users. Most will only use what is in front of them and never boot into another option. Why would they? They don't do all the geeky stuff android phone os offer anyway. 
    Grandma ain't blinking through her trifocals to flip though web pages, or jamming with her assisted living homies during a game of Canasta. Its not for them.
    This is the playground for geeks and unless this is some experimental program to get the vocal minority of android geeks to spend time with WP,  a couple phones on the market might be healthy, but its a risk.  But for the average user, this is DOA.
  • There is one more thing Microsoft has to do and has do it fast; they have already working on it unify all the 3 stores and development environments.
    Any app that comes to Win8 should be compactable with Win RT and WP. The Developer need to code only once with the shared APIs and with the same code 3 different packages (4 for Xbox but It may be an over kill) should be generated. When Microsoft does that any developer can’t ignore any of the platforms of MS like what we see now with RT. Win8 due to its monopoly will have every app possible and imagine if the entire Win8 app come to WP??.
  • Really? That's the ONLY way Windows Phone can make it in the US?? Not by catching up and passing IOS and android in features? Come on now...
  • Just from the snippet it seems fairly clear that they mean releasing the same hardware family with WP to provide users with a choice, not on the same device. The whole dual-boot thing is a horrible idea that I hope does not happen any time soon. The reason people still flock to apple is that they (did) keep things simple, that's not simple and would drive away all but the most geeky people. I consider myself in that category and I'd still rather just have 2 devices so I don't have to worry about security on my android partition affecting my wp partition, people using that as a vector for attacking the wp security and so on. I don't need any single app so much that I'd be willing to constantly reboot my phone between two OSes and I'd settle on one over time which would mean I have a bunch of wasted space potentially on my phone along with no visible benefits. You can buy a low end wp for 70-80 (USD) and a budget android for about the same or less contract free The only way this would be useful is the blackberry "approach" of basically allowing the apps of one to run on the other (maybe via emulation) but I have no doubt that would be a poor user experience unless MS adds the same hardware level virtualization that is present in their recent desktop OSes and that would mean that the chip makers would need to support that as well and I (STILL) don't see a huge market need for it currently.
  • I think microsoft is trying to change the mobile devices into what they know best , the best option would be to purchase a device without os and during activation u choose which os you want to install , google has done to them what microsoft did with pcs and notebooks , oem versions preinstalled and now they are trying to change that , funny thing is that htc woudl actually benefit fromt this gteatly , and if it works samsung will hear microsoft knocking next
  • There have been rumours of an HTC one wp8 phone after gdr3 comes out.
  • Why HTC one sucks it crashes to much and the so called unibody aluminum splits
  • But it wouldn't crash with WP on it, so another PR blow against Android.
    And anyway one assumes in the 6 months since the One came out they'll have made some improvements that they could put into a potential WP version.
  • Microsoft needs to make it possible to flash the WP8 to exiting droids via Microsoft stores and service centers for a limited time for a limited number of users for a small change. Only down side is if the images file leaks Microsoft may get additional users but no revenue.  
  • The htc 8xt was a lag monster 
  • My 8x on Verizon has been incredible. Its been dropped numerous times without any damage and is much more comfortable to hold than my both of my brothers lumias (920 & 928
  • I doubt its the dual boot option... I suspect they'd like HTC to put out single phone models with carriers selling both an HTC One and HTC One WP8...
  • That's exactly how I see it.
  • Either way I'm glad HTC won't be going away soon in WP market.
  • I believe that you are right. Since HTC isn't doing so well, this would give them the opportunity to support two operating systems and only create one device. If the hardware can support both, then all that they have to do is load the OS as it leaves the factory.
  • I don't think MS should pay HTC anything as HTC has had plenty of time to help WP and hasn't. They didn't promote WP after their introduction like they do with their Android offerings, didn't make an effort to bring developers/apps like Nokia did, and finally, HTC is constantly loosing money on Android; I say let them go the way of Blackberry & and buy them in the your money and let it gain interest until that time comes.
  • Great idea, because the Android market is strong dominated by Samsung and they have made their first quartal loss, and because WP is growing.
  • May I ask where you got you facts? According to Engadget, Samsung has yet to release Q3 reports, but it's expecting another profit.
  • I think he meant HTC reported a loss.
  • Samsung has gotten record profit, according to an article posted on The Verge.
  • Yeah I meant that HTC made a loss
  • Awesome! That means they will continue to support our 8X!
  • I hope so...
  • Continue support.. ? Did we had support in the first place.. ? :P
  • You got GDR2 already right? Talk to the Nokia fanboys on AT&T...
  • My 8X, and many others, have been receiving prompt updates. What planet are you on?
  • HTC support their phones? hehe.....
  • We consider os and firmware updates to be support, not apps.
  • I agree. Apps were always just a bonus, it's really the software/firmware support that counts.
  • Guess everyone has different views on support then..
  • If this happens, it is the awesomest thing possible. Both Windows and Adroid on the same that is incredible! Please do it!
  • I'd much rather we just got the missing apps, I really don't want to go back to the mess that's Android.
  • If you're already on Windows Phone Microsoft doesn't want you buying this phone in  the first place. You're not the target audience.
  • No we will not
  • Keep android away from us!!!
  • +920
  • No android,please.
  • +1520
  • +WP9
  • Lol this
  • +8X
  • While I don't thgink cual boot options could be offered from HTC, I think it makes sense for them to consider seriously throwing at least more weight into Windows Phone that they have done in the past.
    Windows Phone keeps growing and the current line of HTC Android phones is really great.
    I would absosutely love an HTC One with Windows Phone. I currently have the One it's one fine piece of hardware. Having WP on it would be awesome.
  • #switch
  • That statement would actually have a lot more meaning if this actually happens
  • I think it's a very good possibility, considering we now have (or will have pretty soon) those (semi)giant tablets/all-in-ones by Asus which run Android and Windows 8. Obviously certain adjustments to the hardware are needed (more storage space, for starters) but wouldn't that be the very first dual boot smartphone? :) If so, both Microsoft and Google will have the edge and MAYBE they'll learn how to work together and MAYBE they'll bury the hatchet finally. Man, I should switch to decaf, this Jacobs coffee is hallucinogenic...
  • Nice dreams but google will never play nice with Microsoft and apple as they are a company with assholes sitting in there boardroom.
  • I'm getting ready to go to sleep and now I want coffee :D
  • Well, it was only 8.22 AM on my side at the time :)
  • If this is done I wonder if it will be possible to install the dual os on a Lumia? Any Devs out there know?
  • NO! JUST NO!
  • +925
  • Hersey!
  • no. I want Nokia to remain WP only.
  • That benefits no one. Whereas dual boot could benefit many.
  • +1 me too bro I was just wondering if a port like that was possible, that's all
  • Ibreally want this dual booter... Windows for official use nd android for gameing nd social.. :P
  • did I just hear someone say Android was more "social" than WP?!
  • Just stop please :(
  • Probably because of hangouts. Hate Google but it's actually getting pretty popular among android users
  • An HTC One with WP8 instead?? Man, I would be sooooooo tempted to get one of those!!
  • NOT DUAL BOOT, just android intended hardware running WP8. The way people infer things is strange
  • What if: you heavily modded android os so it looked like WP8 but used alot more resources...nah. :)
  • You don't need to heavily mod Android for that. All you need is to download a launcher with the WP UI and you're good to go.
  • A WP with all the apps of android. Perfection
  • Most wouldn't be able to run, because the spyware part couldn't covertly access all your private data and send it to whomever wants it, nor could the virus part do anything "fun." ;)
  • Those java apps would force close daily on WP.
  • My Nokia N9 runs both meego and android ics but it has dev mode and is very customizable from factory unlike WP. Sad that the N9 died at birth but its form factor lives on ala Lumia polycarbonate
  • Though i love the idea of HTC One in dual boot i don't think it will happen, because it creates looong list of problems for HTC customer support, and would delay phone release date. I think they will release same phone in two versions. Either way it's a good news :)
  • I would seriously consider that as an option if it was available.
  • I would be all over a One with WP8!!! Hellz to the yeah!!!
  • Samsung going to have tablet run both is at the same time, coming soon. So I think, it is can be done to have both run at same time. It would be just an apps switch between both os. Something like that.
  • Pretty sure they mean making two version of the same phone. Instead of having an HTC One running Android and an HTC 8X running Windows Phone, Microsoft is pushing for them to make an HTC One running Android and an HTC One running Windows Phone (i.e., not dual boot on the same phone). It is a great strategy--one they should've been pushing from the get-go. I'm surprised OEMs don't do it already anyway, but Microsoft should push to make it happen, not just with HTC but with Samsung too. If the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 ran Windows Phone, Windows Phone would really gain a ton of market share quite quickly.
  • What are the chances of Samsung marketing it however? It'll just be a dead device like the Ativ S.
    First to announce, last to ship, no carrier support.
  • Disagree. MS should and must work harder with carriers to make it happen. The bottom line is WP badly need versions of the best selling brands like SG4 and HTC One. That would be a MASSIVE win. Nokia done great job with entry level phones like 520 and 625. However is struggling to compete at high end devices.
  • No carrier support in the US. Sprint got it, right? Sprint is terrible. I left sprint to go with metropcs. I was hoping that tmobile would have gotten the ativ s, but was disappointed. I enjoy my L521, but storage space is bad vs my hd7 that I had.
  • The 521 has microsd support. So how is it bad?
  • coip says: Pretty sure they mean making two version of the same phone. Instead of having an HTC One running Android and an HTC 8X running Windows Phone, Microsoft is pushing for them to make an HTC One running Android and an HTC One running Windows Phone
    This is exactly how i see it. There's no way we're going to have dual-boot phones, that's just crazy.  But if the development costs for designing separate models for Android and WP were merged, that would save HTC a huge amount.  It comes down to how precious they feel about protecting what's left of their Android brand.
    Given the fact that the Android handset market is heavily overcrowded, fragmented and dominated by Samsung, it's a tough call for HTC.  They're suffering badly from poor global sales of the HTC One which is a great piece of kit, how are they supposed to effectively differentiate if they also slap WP8 on the HTC One hardware?  It would send a confusing and mixed message to the market and carriers would likely choose one or the other, losing HTC even more potential sales.
  • Make Titan 3.
  • These stories sure do take on a life of their own quickly. Just PURE speculation.  Let's just wait until some facts roll out. Beyond that, this is all Dr. Suess.
  • How much system memory would that take to duel boot?
  • Would rather have their hardware running Windows Phone than a dual boot, but I do see potential in the former. Have always loved HTC hardware, their support however, is another story.
  • hTC, the next nokia
  • yes in one year they will fold and be sold to MS
  • Every Android handset sold comes with 5~30 dollars licensing fee (Microsoft, Apple, and other IP holders), while Windows Phone remains free and clear of IP issue.
    Sounds great!
  • They should do it like the Samsung ativ q and run android from wp8 as if it were an app. That would be tits :)
  • It would also require stupidly high end hardware to run android in a virtual box like that. As well as software support for it that I do not believe WP8 has.
  • I don't care too much for the Android part, I don't particularly like hybrid phones anyway. Just stick to one operating system, two is too much.
  • Wait, was that a pun?
  • Dual boot would be all kinds of awesome. What would be even more awesome, is if you could instantly switch between the two OS's. Like some yet to be released tablets do between Android and Windows 8. Best of both worlds! A man can dream right...
  • A dual boot phone will not be optimized and will produce a horrible user experience. Bad because users will form a negative impression of Windows Phone & Apple will surely hammer that point home in marketing.
  • Dual boot phones would be insane.
  • I think this proposal to HTC is mostly about getting Windows Phone on the same hardware as Android and possibly dropping the licensing fee. It can be a good thing. HTC can simply build one device and preload one of the two OS.
    Even if this deal doesn't lead to dual booting, the awesome developers at xda will hopefully figure out a way to flash Windows Phone or Android or even dual boot on the same device.
    It can be a challenge though, especially formatting the storage partitions between EXT and NTFS (or whichever file system WP uses) would split storage space in half. Then there is Microsoft's convoluted UEFI secure boot to mess with.
  • Ok, not a bad idea, but when millions of handsets are being sold and the lost revenue in licenses transpires, please don't pull a Google and start data mining us for ad revenue. I have trust in Microsoft, but this option will be on the table and they'll lose a strong selling point for consumers if they take it.
  • Trusting any company farther than you can throw them is a mistake.
  • While I'd hate to promote naivety, I think it's also dangerous to over generalize, because once you've reduced everyone to the same level, it just becomes a race to the bottom.
    Also, there are reasons to believe Microsoft are a more ethical company than Google and strong pressure to keep things that way.
    When I bought my first smartphone I went with a Windows Mobile because, I reasoned that an OS aimed primarily at the business market would be more versatile and secure than a consumer device. Privacy being a much higher priority to business than consumers. If it got around that Microsoft were violating the privacy of businesses, they would lose their core user base in a second and face a tsnami of legal challenges. Of course, things are more complicated than that, but I think my resoning is sound as a generalisation.
    As for Google, well the news just gets worse and worse. The latest is the revelation that Google has a database of private Wi-Fi SSIDs and passwords, which must be questionable legally. While it's true that the handset user has to agree to transmit this data and reasonably applies to the handset user's Wi-Fi login details, what about the Wi-Fi login details of third parties? What right has Google to take the data of the handset user's employers, friends and aquaintences? Surely the owner has the legal right to control who has their Wi-Fi access details and when they allow their friend/employee to use their Wi-Fi, they are not giving that person permission to pass that information to anyone else? Yet this information is being passed on and I think it may well be illegal, but let's face it, be it Streetview, infringing patents, or declaring that no one using Gmail has any reason to expect it to be confidential, Google have a history of doing things first and leaving it up to others to complain. Do no evil, my arse.
  • Well said that man.
  • Dual boot would make things worse for windows. Can you imagine all the problems that would plague the device to run 2 OS efficiently? Considering that HTC is already not very efficient (blaming it on carriers) rolling out updates for Android. But please do put Windows on HTC One.
  • If phones dual boot OSes, then who gets credit for marketshare? Sounds like a slippery slope...
  • They are counting activation numbers. Once the phone gets activated on both systems it would be counted on both systems share.
  • My girlfriend has the HTC8X it's a great phone, tough and well made. I'd be happy to be a family with both Nokia and HTC.
  • My girlfriend has the 8x two only thing that's a bugger is limited storage space and no gdr2 or the Nokia apps it tends to go funny at times but its good none the less
  • I was under the impression htc were losing interest in wp8 still prefer Nokia over a htc wp8 devices anyhoo
  • Good idea
  • Do it and my next phone will be an HTC. I like WP but another option would be best of both worlds.
  • No way would they allow dual boot. I see this as more of a danger to MS. I can see many WP users go "Wow. I didn't know I could get all of this" and just not go back. Its sad to say but I think its true.
    As mentioned, I can see HTC releasing the same model with and without Android to get another manufacturer back to supporting WP more. Especially as HTC may be heading into NOKIA like territory financially.
  • yea if  you can go ahead and allow my HTC One run WP8 that'd be great.
  • I suspect Microsoft could claim bigger market share as long as the device could possibly run WP.
  • Reminds me of my hd2 . Good times
  • Running WP on hTC devices sounds sweet. Dual booting operating systems: not so much. Hell if we dualboot to scroogle, I might as well jump ship and join the apple party...
  • i hope many oems stay working with windows phone 8, cause now that nokia has been bought by microsoft, all of the exclusive stuf will also be available on the other devices, wich is really nice. :D
    i think the dual boot could indeed help the boost of wp8, but im afraid all the real droid users, hardcore users, know how to get wp8 of their device and wont even take a look at it, but it might get the regular consumer attracted to wp. 
  • "Abomination" says Victor from Underworld
  • Microsoft should eliminate all licensing fees, as Google has from the start. How can an OEM see WP as a fair option to compete against Android otherwise? The thing they can offer to make it compelling is to continue to offer the defense of patent claims. Google currently leaves OEMs hanging, while MS will defend the claims against its OS. MS will make it up in the store where they get 30% of each sale.