The Windows Phone operating system will soon be capable of being run on existing Android hardware, Microsoft has confirmed.
Teasing upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 features during MWC 2014, Microsoft has revealed that the forthcoming platform update will see system requirements for the Windows Phone OS changed. As such, manufacturers will be able to port the Windows Phone OS to existing Android hardware.
With Microsoft having recently offered Windows Phone 8.1 update hints, Greg Sullivan, Microsoft’s Director of Windows Phone has discussed in further detail with TrustedReviews the effects this will have on the platform, not just for consumers but manufacturers too.
Detailing some of the upcoming improvements, he revealed that the Windows Phone 8.1 update, which is still to be officially named, will see “support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 and 400 chipsets” added.
On top of this, the reworked OS will allow “support for soft keys so that you don’t have to have physical hardware buttons.”
Looking to the larger benefits of these seemingly small changes, Sullivan stated: “One of the important things there is that an OEM can now take a device – an existing device that they are shipping with Android on it today – and install Windows Phone on it.”
He added: “They can leverage and get scale with their investments, they don’t have to go and build a separate thing that costs more, it’s going to eliminate a lot of barriers and make it more efficient and economically feasible for more OEMs to get into that business.”
The Director of Windows Phone went on to tell us: “There is a change in how we are engaging our OEM partners.
“With Windows Phone 8, we shrunk the number of OEMs we worked with relative to Windows 7.5. That was intentional as we knew we were going to the new Kernal underneath and we wanted to focus our engineering resources on fewer OEMs to make sure that we got it right.
“Now we can turn our attention to growing the ecosystem, growing the install base, and having a wider range of support for new devices.”
Despite claiming big things are in store for the future of Windows Phone, the third OS as it has widely become known, was scarcely represented at Mobile World Congress this week.
With a mass of Android handsets and a fleet of Firefox OS devices unveiled, Microsoft’s mobile OS was completely overlooked by leading manufacturers.
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