The reports that Microsoft (actually Nokia) was working on an Android powered phone got mixed responses from the Free Software Community. Some were excited that Microsoft has resorted to Linux and some were upset fearing Microsoft will be more or less a leech building on top of the work done by the community only to create a monopoly.
I never believed that Microsoft will destroy its own operating system and embrace Android. Microsoft is not a new player in the market, it has a strong focus on enterprise segment and by using Android on mobile devices would shatter its convergence dream. It will also break the ecosystem it is building around its own kernel encompassing devices like Xbox, PCs, mobile devices, cars and much more.
It never made any sense to me. Looks like it doesn’t make any sense to Stephen Elop either, the Microsoft executive who was sent to Nokia to prepare the compare for acquisition by the software behemoth.
shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices.
Stephen has announced that Microsoft (Nokia) will shift the focus of Nokia X (the devices used for Android) to Windows operating system. He said:
We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia. In addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.
That brings and end to Microsoft Android, as my friend Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols calls it. Before this news broke, I was enjoying a discussion with fellow FLOSS users around Microsoft’s use of Linux and how it won’t be any different from Apple’s use of Free Software. I had expressed my doubts that Microsoft will ever embrace Linux with the ‘good citizen’ approach getting involved with community building.
Microsoft’s problem is not a bad code-base. Windows is a decent code, their problem is mind share, their problem were Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates who lacked the vision to see where market was going, they failed to create opportunities or new product segments. The company is known for ‘copying‘ the model of others and use its deep pockets to create a competitor.
I never believed Linux to be part of Microsoft’s vision (outside support in enterprise segment where Linux dominates), with the death of MS-Android, my belief is stronger now.