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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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  • This is news... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:09AM (#46294651)
    ...how. Same old story MS. legally "stealing" someone else's work if they fell like it. blah blah blah
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:11AM (#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.

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:37AM (#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 Billly Gates (198444) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:42AM (#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 oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:57AM (#46295071)
    So 7 out of your 9 android devices are Kindles - got it.

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