Document shows Microsoft planned to take on Android through unconventional means

Microsoft has recently discussed internally somewhat unconventional tactics to help drag Windows Phone up to the level of Android, closing the gap at a faster rate. The Information has had the opportunity to look at internal documentation, which covers numerous scenarios as to how Microsoft planned to compete against Google in the industry. Head past the break for the full read.

We'll kick off with a scenario, described in the document, where a smartphone purchaser would pop into a mobile operator store, choose a mobile device and then select whether they wish to have Windows Phone or Android powering the hardware. There are also records of a meeting between Microsoft and a potential partner for this idea to be discussed.

Before you get carried away with imagining an experience where you could effectively select your own phone OS in-store, this scenario won't become reality due to technical hurdles and the like, but it's an interesting look into how Redmond is looking at tackling the problem that is Google's Android.

There are other plans detailed in the document. These include numerous ideas from cutting the licensing fees altogether for OEMs to build hardware running the Windows Phone OS, or even lending a hand through marketing and working with partners to build mobile phones with both Android and Windows Phone installed.

Windows Phone

There is one requirement Microsoft would hold with manufacturers, if they were to look at running both operating systems together – to use Qualcomm chips. This would potentially cause issues for companies who rely on chips from other manufacturers.

All the above said, Windows Phone still appears as a lucrative platform to manufacturing partners. Android is a busy platform with multiple vendors fighting it out underneath the likes of Samsung. Microsoft's Windows Phone has just Nokia dominating the market with room for other companies to fit in, should enough investment be offered.


Since Redmond currently charges Android device makers royalties for using patented technologies, the company also toyed with the idea of using funds raised from said charges to advertise hardware made by the same manufacturers, powered by Windows Phone. As noted above, the different ideas and plans drafted in the document is expansive.

There are other options covered in the documentation, including a "big push" to market the platform on TV, social media and another avenues after the release of "Blue." We've already seen an increase in marketing from the company, especially when paired with Nokia.

Source: The Information

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.