In what is now old news, Microsoft purchased Nokia’s handset business back in April for a bit over $7 billion. The move was widely seen as an avenue to greater market share for Windows Phone and the mobile operating system. Microsoft is behind in market share dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung. However it appears a big change is brewing, if you believe the rumors. According to @evleaks, Microsoft is planning to releasea Nokia Lumia that runs on Android OS. That is right ladies and gentleman, a Microsoft entity producing a product with an Android OS.
Big news: Android-powered Lumia incoming, from Nokia by Microsoft – http://t.co/KKLstDDVVO
— @evleaks (@evleaks) July 7, 2014
While seeing a Nokia phone with an Android OS is not new it will be the first time, since the Microsoft acquisition, that Android will appear on a Microsoft phone. It was widely adopted that Microsoft would use the platform for its own market share growth. Below is a chart from IDC that shows Operating System market share since 2011.
That chart could explain the move. With Android owning 81 percent of the market share and Windows Phone only holding 3 percent then there is logic here. Having a phone powered by the most widely consumed OS will only increase sales. After all, the acquisition was not going to change things over night for Microsoft. In the meantime they need profit. An Android powered OS will give them that profit. This move also aligns with a renewed Microsoft interest in working across platforms. They have made office available to iPad users so why not an Android device.
We can all agree Microsoft is not going away overnight. But in moves to ensure they are at the top or near the top of the pecking order, Microsoft is transitioning to ensure they stay relevant for time to come. Do not be surprised to see more uncharacteristic moves from the giant. Some will succeed and other will fail.