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Operating Systems Handhelds Microsoft

With 'Virgin' Developers, Microsoft Could Fork Android 241

Posted by timothy
from the are-you-sure-this-is-a-shortcut? dept.
colinneagle writes "Amid all the talk about Microsoft forking Android for a smartphone OS, one suggestion involves a look back to Microsoft's DOS days. Microsoft DOS was designed per IBM's specification to run exclusively on IBM's PC hardware platforms. Phoenix Technologies employed software developers it nicknamed 'virgins,' who hadn't been exposed to IBM's systems, to create a software layer between Microsoft's DOS system and PCs built by IBM's competitors. This helped Microsoft avoid infringing on IBM's patents or copyrights, and subsequently helped fuel the explosive growth of PC clones. Microsoft could use the same approach to 'clone' the proprietary Android components in its own Android fork. This would prevent copyright infringement while giving Microsoft access to Google Play apps, as well as Android's massive base of developers." Microsoft (or anyone) could generate a lot of goodwill by completely replacing the proprietary bits of Android; good thing that doing so is a work in progress (and open-source, too), thanks to Replicant. (Practically speaking, though, couldn't Google just make access to the Play Store harder, if Microsoft were to create an Android-alike OS? Even now, many devices running Android variants don't have access to it.)
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With 'Virgin' Developers, Microsoft Could Fork Android

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:11AM (#46294663)

    The Phonix bios clean-room implementation was necessary because - d'oh! - Phonix couldn't legaly use the IBM bios implementation. However, Microsoft can use the Android implementation. It's open source for FSM's sake. They can even verbosly copy the various Google APIs, APIs are not copyrightable after all. Google fought that out with Oracle.

    The author of this fine article has obviously no clue what he's talking about.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem is actually not that Microsoft can fork it. After all Microsoft using free software is a good thing. The bad thing is however that Google made a crucial mistake when they created Android. By using a non-copyleft license they have made it possible for Microsoft to not only fork it but also making it non-free.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That was actually the intention with a non-copyleft license.

        Get with the program, no one likes copyleft

      • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:37AM (#46294863) Journal

        So, Microsoft forks Android, makes it proprietary, and that does what for Android? Exactly?

        Here's a hint, it leaves Android completely free and open, and only locks Microsoft's brain dead locked up version to ... Microsoft. I could care less if Microsoft makes a fork proprietary, or not. Or anyone else for that matter. This is what FREE and OPEN really mean. Locking people into your own version serves only you, and smart people will avoid your version, and stay with the free non-copyleft versions.

        In summary, if you fork Android, make it proprietary, and think you'll survive long term, you're stupid. Even if your proprietary is vastly superior in function.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          So, Microsoft forks Android, makes it proprietary, and that does what for Android? Exactly?

          The license doesn't permit that. They can make their additions proprietary, but not the base OS. So the real question is what it's supposed to do for Microsoft.

          • by kthreadd (1558445)

            Not sure about the exact fraction, but as far as I know most of Android is under the Apache license which is not copyleft.

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Not sure about the exact fraction, but as far as I know most of Android is under the Apache license which is not copyleft.

              Sure, but do you really think Microsoft will replace the kernel? Doesn't that defeat about half the point?

              • by Megane (129182)
                I can just see them try to get it running with an NT-based kernel. Aren't most Android apps in Dalvik/Java bytecode anyhow?
          • by Rich0 (548339)

            So, Microsoft forks Android, makes it proprietary, and that does what for Android? Exactly?

            The license doesn't permit that. They can make their additions proprietary, but not the base OS. So the real question is what it's supposed to do for Microsoft.

            The license isn't copyleft. They would have to include a copy of the APL, but:
            You may add Your own copyright statement to Your modifications and may provide additional or different license terms and conditions for use, reproduction, or distribution of Your modifications, or for any such Derivative Works as a whole, provided Your use, reproduction, and distribution of the Work otherwise complies with the conditions stated in this License.

            That means that while they have to include a copy of the APL, they don

      • by Billly Gates (198444) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:48AM (#46294987) Journal

        No it is open like MacOSX is open.

        Google has things locked very tight on Android [arstechnica.com] which will make compatibility difficult and a constantly changing targeting if MS were dumb enough to make an Android fork.

        Windows Phone would turn into a mobile version of OS/2 which is used by few and developers say "Oh it runs Android. Lets just target that only and ignore MS we will get both platforms etc", but in reality Google changes AOSP apis and viola it breaks on Windows Phone.

        Windows Phone is not a bad OS even if it is spouted here as the anti Christ from people who actually never ran it. If it were not made by Microsoft I think people would like it here seriously.

      • Not if they are basing it off of proprietary components. Good luck with that. Oracle would have won it's lawsuit over Java with Google had they not open sourced Java.
    • by telchine (719345) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:37AM (#46294861)

      The author of this fine article has obviously no clue what he's talking about.

      Agreed.

      Here is an in-deph article on why forking Android won't work...

      http://arstechnica.com/informa... [arstechnica.com]

      • I read that article a while back and found it flawed for a number of reasons. It overstates the difficulty of reproducing the Google APIs, overstates the degree to which apps are dependent upon them (that is, the number may be growing but the nature of most of the APIs means that there's nothing stopping most developers from producing a "Microsoft" version that simply disables Google features), and hand-waves over the fact that the most successful tablet range in the world right now is a non-Google Android

    • The Phonix bios clean-room implementation was necessary because - d'oh! - Phonix couldn't legaly use the IBM bios implementation.

      Its useful to point out to readers that IBM published the source code to their PC BIOS. If you programmed for DOS and used BIOS calls it was common to look at this source code to get details about parameters to be passed in. This would make you ineligible for the clean room rewrite.

      However, Microsoft can use the Android implementation. It's open source for FSM's sake.

      Not all of it. The summary is clearly referring to the non-open proprietary components of Android.

    • by scorp1us (235526)

      Actually, it was COMPAQ that reverse engineered the BIOS.

    • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:10PM (#46295173)

      From the article

      . However, Google’s verification is not needed for an individual consumer to download and install a Google-signed version of the Google Play app store and then download the full inventory of Google proprietary apps to an unverified Android version.

      That's quite wrong. The Play app is copyrighted, proprietary and is tightly coupled to Google's cloud. They even sent a Cease and Desist to CyanogenMod a few years ago and stopped them from distributing it. They don't go after individual users, but those users are still infringing Google's copyright and are essentially pirating the software. So this advice is like suggesting that Ubuntu make VM software that makes it really easy to pirate Windows to run Windows apps since MS does not go after individual personal home users for pirating their software.

      Not to mention that even if all this manages to happen, Google can just tweak their servers and store app to reject connections from Android forks(see iTunes).

      If you want read a better article about why forking Android does not make any sense, this article is way better:
      http://arstechnica.com/informa... [arstechnica.com]

      Even if MS wants to do something like that, it makes a bit more sense to make Windows Phone able to load Android Apps, which they were/are supposedly exploring.

      http://www.theverge.com/2014/2... [theverge.com]

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        They even sent a Cease and Desist to CyanogenMod a few years ago and stopped them from distributing it. They don't go after individual users, but those users are still infringing Google's copyright and are essentially pirating the software

        Oh bullshit. If you buy a phone with (regular, non-CM) Android pre-installed, then you have every right to use Google Play and any other google apps that were pre-installed on that phone. You don't suddenly lose your right to use that software just because you switched

        • Please see the relevant part that I quoted again:

          However, Google’s verification is not needed for an individual consumer to download and install a Google-signed version of the Google Play app store and then download the full inventory of Google proprietary apps to an unverified Android version.

          So what you say, although true, is a distinction without a difference since the article isn't talking about phones that shipped with Google's authorization. Not to mention that whoever is providing the Google App store download to even authorized users is committing copyright infringement and thus subject to DMCA takedown/legal action.

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Not to mention that whoever is providing the Google App store download to even authorized users is committing copyright infringement

            Yes, of course that's true, just like third parties can't provide MS Office downloads to people who claim to have purchased licenses in my prior example. However, it is possible to create some kind of tool that captures your Google Play binary (and other binaries) before reflashing your phone with an alternative firmware, and then re-installs those same binaries after the refl

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      They can even verbosly copy the various Google APIs, APIs are not copyrightable after all. Google fought that out with Oracle.

      This isn't necessarily true. There was a Slashdot article just a few days ago about this; it looks like Oracle is appealing that decision and it could very well be overturned. Of course, such an idiotic court decision will probably cause total havoc int he computing sector, but still....

  • by rossdee (243626) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:11AM (#46294665)

    So is Richard Branson involved in all this?

  • Amazon (Score:2, Interesting)

    by arbiterxero (952505)

    The reality is that this is an opportunity for Amazon.....

    Amazon has an app store, they could have the ability to sell Blackberry, IOS, Android apps all from the vendors so that when you buy an app it's device agnostic.

    Then the app-stores that are phone specific now become ONE app store that allows you to take your apps with you. One App store that you can pick which version/compatibility to install.

    Amazon just needs to be able to import your Play Store Sales, and Apple Sales so that you can get those apps

    • Amazon just needs to be able to import your Play Store Sales, and Apple Sales so that you can get those apps from them.

      Huh? What does that mean? There is no mechanism by which Amazon can sell iOS apps. Apart from to jailbroken phones.

    • Amazon has an app store, they could have the ability to sell Blackberry, IOS, Android apps ...

      An iOS app has to be digitally signed by Apple, if not a device running iOS will decline to run the app.

    • LMOL - yeah, they want to service other hardware competitors....you're more clueless than the author.
  • All they would have to do is fork Android and replace all the proprietary Google parts with their own. There is nothing secret or shady about this. See: Amazon Kindle Fire.

    Microsoft would just have to jump into it fully. I like the Amazon App market, but I've found apps in it are often several versions behind apps in the Google Play store. If something like that is going to work, app makers are going to have to support multiple app stores, and do so fully.

    Even though I like Amazon giving Google the competit

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Apps. Microsoft needs them, and they can either try to create their own App Store or they can have someone clean-room develop a system that hooks into Google's existing app store. (They can't ship the Play Store on its own: Google's licencing agreements would require them to prominently use GMail, Google Calendar etc. which rather defeats the MS-phone goal they're going for.)

      FWIW I really doubt that's what the Nokia Android will turn out to be.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      I've only read TFS in Slashdot tradition, but the spin of it almost makes me think the author is saying Microsoft would clone Google's apps outright to the extent of also offering a cloned Google Play app that'd connect to the actual Google Play store and allow to download and run apps that require the Play framework to run. I really hope TFS is wrongly worded (or that I interpreted it incorrectly) though because that shows a basic misunderstanding of how such a service works.
  • by QilessQi (2044624) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:13AM (#46294683)

    -- oh, to heck with it, WAY too easy.

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:19AM (#46294719)
    Wait, aren't all devlopers virgins?

    /ducks
  • by cold fjord (826450) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:19AM (#46294725)

    I'm sure that when Microsoft thinks about Android, it's first thought is usually: Fork Android!

  • ... so that you can buy or try any app just like you would download apps for linux distros, without having to register or give an app access to all my stored info? Why does a calculator app need to access my contact list or location data? Will the results vary based on my contacts or location?

    And while you're at it an open source version of Android. I'm happy to pay for apps that I really want but lets at least have a layer of security between applications and stored data, location, call history etc etc

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

      ... so that you can buy or try any app just like you would download apps for linux distros, without having to register or give an app access to all my stored info? Why does a calculator app need to access my contact list or location data? Will the results vary based on my contacts or location?

      why don't you just buy a calculator app that doesn't require this access? there are hundreds. or do you always have to have the new shiny?

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        Can you filter by permissions on a Google Store search? Genuinely curious.

      • The calculator app was just an example. The point is, why do apps that don't require location, contact lists, browsing history need access to them? We know why they do, so why isn't there built in security to automatically prevent access?

        • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

          The app makes money by violating your security and privacy in all sorts of ways. This is how they can offer a free app.

          Google wants the developers to be successful when offering free apps because it's good for their android ecosystem. So they look the other way when developers violate their users' security and privacy.

          This is why they won't allow you to approve or deny specific permissions or allow you to go back to shut off different permissions after installation.

    • ... so that you can buy or try any app just like you would download apps for linux distros, without having to register or give an app access to all my stored info? Why does a calculator app need to access my contact list or location data? Will the results vary based on my contacts or location?

      And while you're at it an open source version of Android. I'm happy to pay for apps that I really want but lets at least have a layer of security between applications and stored data, location, call history etc etc

      You could always install xPrivacy, [xda-developers.com] which can be set up to selectively feed false info to apps.

    • Why does a calculator app need to access my contact list or location data?

      I have written a calculator app [perpenso.com] and I did consider using location data. In addition to scientific, statistics, business and hex functionality it also offers bill / tip functionality. The later could use location data to estimate sales tax if you had not defined it in settings. That said, I have not implemented such behavior.

      I suppose I could also use locality to automatically choose whether I am converting US fluid ounce or Imperial fluid ounces to ml, rather than rely on a definition in settings. Again,

    • Why does a calculator app need to access my contact list or location data?

      They do that so if you want to compute the sum of all the phone numbers in your contacts, you won't have to waste a bunch of time manually typing them all in.

    • How about also having a store without registration so that you can buy or try any app just like you would download apps for linux distros?

      We have that -- at least for the "like for linux distros" part, if not the "store" part. It's called F-Droid.

      And while you're at it an open source version of Android.

      That's being worked on too; it's called Replicant.

  • yes they could. but it would make their google android(tm) licensing scheming a bit harder, having to keep access lists and all that - which they don't do now.

    so umm.. is there some device now that's banned from the market? I mean some device that you just plain can not install google apps on and then access the market? (sure, plenty of devices and mods don't come with them but you could always install the play client if you wanted..)

  • Two things that are very important to the Microsoft philosophy are "generating goodwill" and "replacing proprietary bits." Why here's a clip (in Spanish!) from the Simpson's demonstrating this philosophy in action!

    https://myspace.com/tanaso4/vi... [myspace.com]

  • The argument is predicated on the logic that microsoft no longer observes windows as a viable or competitive product. history tells us that through several iterations and permutations of the OS, microsoft considers the product sound and functional at any level of the integrated circuit from ARM to Xeon. it also fails to acknowledge that microsoft doesnt just want a slice of the android apps market, it wants a market completely of its own. its an incredibly lucrative ecosystem, as theyve seen from microtr
  • We've got BlackBerry, Ubuntu using Qt/QML for native app development. Ubuntu is using Android's kernel. Developing a phone platform that can also run on iOS and Android would fix the problem of inertia with a lot less effort of re-inventing Android. And recent versions of Android have a no-forking provision. So there's no forking way.

    I specifically mention Ubuntu Mobile because they are already aligned with WinRT's vision. Ubuntu Mobile uses android kernels, so there's no additional hardware porting effort.

  • First they ignore you,
    Then they laugh at you,
    Then they fight you,
    Then you win.

  • Microsoft (or anyone) could generate a lot of goodwill by completely replacing the proprietary bits of Android

    By replacing them with more proprietary bits?

    Sorry, but if you want goodwill, you need to make them non-proprietary, otherwise you've just shuffled things around.

  • Clean room development is a good way to defend against copyright infringement, because you are able to demonstrate you did not have actual knowledge of the copyrighted material, and hence could not have copied it. With patents, it does not matter whether you copied it or not. If your product performs the same invention as described in the claims of a patent, you infringe, regardless of the absence of copying.
  • Call me naive, but why is Google so protective of the Play Store? Don't they get a cut of every sale there? I can understand why they'd want to block the side-loading of apps onto other OS devices, but wouldn't they want EVERYONE to use the store?

    What I see, is that they should work towards eliminating other stores. So the Amazon App Store is more of a threat than Microsoft making a phone that can point at Google's store.

    • by ledow (319597)

      Support I should think.

      If they only tack it onto supported devices from manufacturer's playing ball, they don't have to worry about compatibility etc.

      They distinguish, as it is, that my manky Galaxy Ace is not able to run apps that other phones / tablets are able to run. Hence they are already wasting a lot of my time when I go to an interesting app only to find it's not compatible.

      Throw in fifty brands of cheap unofficial tablet and they have no way to test compatibility to that fine a degree. And when t

      • by ledow (319597)

        P.S. The Play Store EULA allows this. It only mentions "a device supplied with a version of Android" as the requirement to be licensed to use Play Store, last time I read it... I was that worried, I checked.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      It's not about protecting the Play Store. They know everyone wants it on their device, and they can exploit that need by bundling it with other, very profitable apps that Google wants to promote like G+, GMail, Maps, and Search. Those are Google's real profit centres.

  • Google freely allows this. You can take their releases, which is mostly open source software, and build a product around it. If you want access to early releases, then you have to start playing by Google's rules, but even that is not so hard.

    If you want to make a fork of Android and give it to partners you could do that with anything but the early preview releases. Fork Jellybean or KitKat right now if you want. If you want to stay on top of what Google is doing, you'll be integrating their future releases

  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:38AM (#46294873) Homepage

    My Windows phone (Lumia 920) runs faster and more fluid and it has significantly less power than my Android tablet (Nexus 7, 1st gen). Each update has added features without making it slower. There are less apps but I have yet to not find what I'm looking for and they generally feel more consistently designed. WP 8 brought native C++ programming. The only thing left is ditching their Direct3D stuff for OpenGL/OpenCL support to make porting games easier (which will admittedly probably never happen).

    In terms of geek factor Android is of course far more customizable and rootable, but I and I'd assume the great majority of users are not interested in doing that.

    There's so much focus on Microsoft forking Android, but I really don't see the point. They've got a long way to go to get to Android levels of market share, but it's by no means a failure that deserves to be trashed.

    • Re:Why would they? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:47PM (#46295545) Homepage

      Because the days of a phone as a single-purpose device are long over. Modern phones are miniature computers and - like all computers - it is the software they run which is the most important part. No matter how good the hardware or underlying operating system may be, if it doesn't have applications to run on it, that computer is not going to end up being used. And Android phones have the apps, while Windows phones do not.

      Sure, there are a small selection of apps for Windows phones, but it is nothing in comparison to what you can get on an Android (or an Apple IOS device). Apps come out first on Android and IOS, with ports to Windows Phone a secondary consideration (if they are ported at all). And there are no must-have applications only available on Windows Phone. Without the apps, they can't attract users, and without the users they cannot attract developers.

      Forking Android is one potential method of getting those users. Once they have gained (embraced) a significant market-share, then Microsoft could follow up with their usual "extend, extinguish" methodology to control that market (love it or hate it, that policy works for them).

      Of course, forking Android is unlikely to be a successful strategy. Increasing amounts of the Android API are being moved into Google's proprietary services and many applications are becoming more dependent on the functionality of those APIs. Forking Android would require Microsoft to create an incompatible replacement for those APIs or try to create a clean-room version of the GMS that maintains full compatibility. With the former, they have just traded a Windows kernel for a Linux kernel without gaining users because they still won't have compatibility with most apps. With the latter, Microsoft cedes control of the the platform to Google and will constantly be playing catch up to any changes the search-giant makes.

      Their best bet - but the one they have been unable to achieve despite over a decade of trying - is to create a must-have feature that can only be had on Windows Phones (for instance, imagine a successor to Facebook and the only phone that you can access it from is a WinPhone). Microsoft was hoping that Exchange/ActiveDirectory integration might be this feature, but - because that was largely only of interests to large businesses - it failed to capture the market. But if they can find something that excites the market and only they offer - then they can succeed.

      So even were Windows Phone OS the best and most advanced phone OS around, it doesn't matter a jot. It's always been the applications that have driven users to a platform, and right now Microsoft doesn't have those. And that is why people are throwing around ideas like forking Android.

  • ... Microsoft would love this idea, because they could create a "clean" product, while paying the developers less by angling that they don't have Android experience.
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:42AM (#46294921) Journal

    Seriously this is not flame bait and I am not trolling here.

    Just speaking as a Windows Phone user who is happy who switched. Windows Phone does have some features. It is very light and responsive on lower end hardware and has neat features with battery and data saving, and the best cut and paste support on touch around compared to IOS and Android (speaking as an ex android user). The view on this site is that MS is years behind and it is all soo buggy, slow, and crappy compared to the coolness of Android from people of course who actually never even used it before?!

    It is not perfect as it lacks a notification center and voice support is less than with other platforms. But it does not mean it is crap either.

    I am a former Android user and use a Nokia. Really Windows Phone is not a bad OS and if it was not made by Microsoft it would not be soo bashed here.

    Android has issues. It is partially opensourced where AOSP is the proprietary part that locks developers and Microsoft to Google [arstechnica.com] similar to MacOSX being partially open.

    I think Ms will destroy its brand name and turn it into another OS/2 as developers will just target Android and with AOSP it means compatibility problems will arise often for Windows Phone users.

    Windows 9 will have a unified modern apps that run on the phone and desktop if rumors are true. This will put a dent into both.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Every product, no matter how ostensibly terrible, has a user base for whom it fits like a glove.

      Case in point: pre-iPhone smartphones, which despite being expensive and a pain in the ass to use, were the only fully-fledged computers that fit in your pocket and therefore invaluable in some contexts. Or the much-maligned PSVita, which isn't exactly rolling in CoD and Final Fantasy but turns out to be the iPod for indie gaming and PSone software. Or the Windows Phone, in your case: it doesn't have a huge games

      • I am hoping WIndows 9 will close the gap if it is true that MS is making modern apps that run on both with Metro 2.0. I know metro is a bad word here on slashdot but the new Windows will not have a start screen unless it detects no keyboard at startup and they will run like win32 apps in a Windows 7 style desktop.

        There are apps for Windows mobile surprisingly. Accuweather, youtube HD, Nokia maps and driving, etc.

        I like it because it is very lightweight and less buggy with excellent touch support compared to

    • Some people here might have issue with Windows Phone as it came from MS, but most people here see that it was behind Android and iOS and is only slowly catching up. Like many things can we blame people especially consumers for waiting until they think something is ready before they use it? The current notion of tablets being lightweight and having simplified touch-centric UIs is different from the expensive heavy laptop with a touchscreen vision that MS tried to sell a decade ago. This new idea of what a

    • by wile_e8 (958263)

      Really Windows Phone is not a bad OS and if it was not made by Microsoft it would not be soo bashed here.

      This is part of it - people associated Microsoft with horrible experiences when locked in to the Windows monopoly. This deters the "just works" folks compared to iOS. Also, it is just as locked down as iOS. This deters the tinkerers and other people likely to develop apps compared to Android. Combine those with the fact that iOS and Android were already pretty entrenched by the time it came out, and no o

    • by paulpach (798828)

      I am a mobile app developer. I have ios, android and win surface tablets. I have nothing against any of these companies as I want my apps to work on all of them. But the surface is my least favorite one, and one I would never use for me. The usability is just bad over all. Here are some examples:

      1. I want to get a game, so I click on the store, and it prompts me to create an account. I spend 5 minutes setting up an account, and then it just goes to my account page with no obvious way to install the gam
    • by LodCrappo (705968)

      " AOSP is the proprietary part"

      No, AOSP is the free and open part. Android Open Source Project - https://source.android.com/ [android.com]

      The Google cloud services are the proprietary part (Gmail, Hangouts, G+, etc). AOSP is a fine mobile operating system without any cloud services. Many third party ROMs for Android devices are pure AOSP. You can also put different cloud services in place of the Google services and distribute that to your hearts content, i.e. the Amazon Kindle.

      I agree that Windows Phone is a very nic

    • by UpnAtom (551727) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @01:19PM (#46295859) Homepage

      And the second biggest is that everyone knows Microsoft makes it.

      People want phones that are chic. Microsoft are about as chic as homophobia. Looks, both of the phone and of the UI, are even more important.

      Apparent price/performance is another factor. Probably the main reason Android is doing so well is because those phones look good value in comparison to Apple (not hard with their 200% markup). The fact that interpreted Android apps make those quad cores as slow as dual cores doesn't come into the equation.

      Lastly, some people really believe they need 100,000 apps.

  • Anoither "Hey here is a idea for Microsoft so they can be relevant again" article.

    Copying others isn't a long -term business plan -- when you copy, it is action without thought or imitation without intelligence.

    If Microsoft wants to get positive press, they need to kill Metro and demonstrate competence in their primary product.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Yunzil (181064)

      Copying others isn't a long -term business plan

      Linux has been doing it for decades now.

      they need to kill Metro

      Why? Metro actually works fine on a small touch screen. Killing it would be retarded.

  • Instead of just a cut and paste job the poster actually added something for discussion in an even handed way.

  • Amazon app store is supported on all 9 of my android devices. Play store is supported on 2 of them. It is already the first place I look for an app.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:52AM (#46295033) Journal

    > Practically speaking, though, couldn't Google just make access to the Play Store harder, if Microsoft were to create an Android-alike OS?

    Sure, just make it a requirement that the transaction be signed in some fashion, and then make the credentials really difficult to get.

    Waaaait, that sounds familiar...

  • Look, M$ is obviously NOT interested in Android. Why would they be?

    Consider this, they just went to great lengths to rip apart the user interface of literally every desktop OS they sell in order to sell their surface hand held/laptop devices. You don't think this was about the touch screen stuff? No, this was a *clear* commitment to their hand held device strategy which boils down to, hey we OWN the desktop/laptop market, so let's leverage that and see how much of the hand held tablet market we can captu

  • I'd love an open phone as much as anyone. Unfortunately, the proprietary bits of android aren't our only problem [osnews.com]. The baseband firmware is regulated, proprietary, and mysterious in virtually every phone on the market. So, unless you want to use your phone exclusively on WIFI, it's never going to be truly open.
  • So we will see Microsoft phones an tablets somewhere else than just on 'The Dome' or 'Intelligence'?

  • ...simply by providing the pieces of the J2SE API that are missing from the Android API. And the door is wide open for them to "embrace, extend, and extinguish" Google's Android while lowering the bar for developers and raising the quality of apps. Google has a bizarre obsession with making Android run in an ever-smaller footprint when phone and tablet hardware is obviously trending in the opposite direction. The decisions Google made to allow the OS to aggressively limit its memory use require Android d

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren

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