There used to be a time, oh, in the not so distant past, say five years back, when HTC was the largest maker of Windows powered phones. Back then Android was in its absolute infancy.
It was then that the Taiwanese company changed strategy and started releasing fewer Windows Mobile handsets. Android was the new kid in town, and HTC focused on this new platform a lot. Of course, we all know how it played out.
The company has lost a lot of ground on both ends lately.
Increased competition from Samsung on the Android front and casual uptake of Windows Phone smartphones has meant that HTC is fast losing market share — it has announced a substantial quarterly net loss of $101 million just this week.
Microsoft, though, would like to change this.
While Windows Phone is slowly and steadily gaining market share around the globe, Redmond clearly wants to speed things up a fair bit. And the technology titan is willing to do a lot to accomplish this.
Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft wants Windows Phone on more HTC devices, and the company is even willing to eliminate licensing fees for the Taiwanese phone maker, should it agree to load its mobile platform on more smartphones.
According to the aforementioned report, Microsoft has asked HTC to install Windows Phone as a secondary option on its Android handsets.
Complete details are not available on how far the negotiations really are, but considering the situation HTC finds itself in, it would not be a surprise if both companies agreed on this new deal.
The company has only launched three Windows Phone handsets in the past 12 months — the HTC 8X, HTC 8S, and the HTC 8XT. The last one actually being a modified model of the 8X.
Compared to Nokia, this is a pretty cheerless showing.
It remains to be seen how end consumers take dual-boot smartphones running Android and Windows Phone. In fact, the bigger question is how exactly both competing platforms could exist on one device, in which case users will have to choose one over the other when they purchase a handset.
But this is an interesting new development, and we should have more on this in the near future.