According to rumour, Microsoft is set to not only permit Nokia's continued experimentation with the Android OS, but will bolster it with the introduction of an Android-powered Nokia Lumia smartphone.
When Nokia launched the Nokia X just prior to the company's acquisition by Microsoft, it was widely believed that the project would be one of the first to be cut once Microsoft had the Finnish manufacturer under its control.
Here was a phone that absorbed many of the Windows Phone design flourishes and Microsoft services we've all come to expect from the two companies, but was built on an Android OS core with the ability to run Android apps (with a little tinkering).
To everyone's surprise, the Nokia X2 was launched towards the end of June. Here, effectively, was an Android phone from Microsoft.
It seems as if the Windows Phone maker is warming to the idea. Serial tipster @evleaks has posted the following: "Big news: Android-powered Lumia incoming, from Nokia by Microsoft."
This is a notable step on from the low-end experimentation of the Nokia X and Nokia X2.
The Lumia brand has been inextricably associated with Windows Phone ever since it first appeared in the Nokia Lumia 800 back in 2011. What's more, it signifies the best of Nokia's technical expertise, even when applied to budget phones like the Nokia Lumia 520.
Now, if this rumour is to be believed, Microsoft wants to apply that Lumia brand to an Android OS-driven handset. The result could well be a high-end Microsoft Android phone - a phrase we never thought we'd find ourselves writing.
With Windows Phone 8 continuing to languish in a distant third place behind Android and iOS, is Microsoft looking to stealthily piggy-back off one of its biggest rivals?
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