by Anton Shilov
10/07/2013 | 11:50 PM
HTC, a struggling maker of smartphones, could become the world’s first smartphone vendor to offer handsets with two operating systems and let customers choose which one to use. The move will likely face a lot of technical issues, but Microsoft Corp., which is claimed to be behind initiative, could probably help the vendor with technology in incentives.
Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating systems unit, asked HTC last month to load Windows Phone as a second option on handsets with Google Android operating system, reports Bloomberg news-agency. It is believed that Microsoft may provide HTC its mobile platform at little or no cost only to ensure higher market share for Windows Phone. No technical details have been reported thus far.
Last month Microsoft and Nokia Corp. inked an agreement under which the former will acquire devices division from the latter and will initiate its own smartphone business starting next spring. While Microsoft will offer its own handsets featuring Windows Phone platform, the company made it clear that it does not want the OS to become a proprietary one. As a result, Microsoft remains interested in popularizing Windows Phone among smartphone makers in a bid to boost its market share.
The software giant from Redmond, Washington, does not have a lot of opportunities to make companies like Samsung Electronics or Sony Corp. to offer Windows Phone-based solutions. But when it comes to struggling makers like HTC, Microsoft has a lot of chances since it can provide much needed incentives and other kinds of help.
While it should be possible to install two operating systems onto the same smartphone, it should be noted that not all hardware platforms can support both Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone 8. For example, the latter is currently only supported by Snapdragon system-on-chips by Qualcomm, whereas Android is supported not only by Qualcomm Snapdragon, but also by Intel Atom, Nvidia Tegra, Samsung Exynos, MediaTek MT-series, Rockchip RK3-series and many others. Therefore, to support both operating systems on a single smartphone, HTC will need to stick to application processors from Qualcomm, which will likely limit its offerings.
HTC and Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.