Will Microsoft Kill, Nokia’s Android phones?

Microsoft is in an awkward period where they don’t get to dictate to Nokia what they do. Especially before the final approval of the deal is still underway. But frankly I think Microsoft is all in with Nokia’s decision — I mean the day these phones where announced — Skype (Microsoft owned) already had a version that was already tweaked to run on them. This to me is a clear indication that Microsoft discussed all implications involved before Nokia went ahead to release the phones. So this tells us tacitly that Microsoft will not kill them off at least immediately.

No Nokia till 2016

For those who remember when Microsoft actually made the offer to buy Nokia, there was a lot of talk about what Nokia will retain as a business and whether they will ever do their own handsets again. Of course Microsoft knew what they were buying before they put pen on paper, so until 2016 they cannot abort any of Nokia’s current plans. According to the terms agreed on at buy out:

Microsoft gets rights to use Nokia’s name in connection with feature phones for 10 years, however at the start of 2016 Nokia can re-enter the devices market using its own name. 

In a nut-shell its over for the Finnish company. This is basically two years in a Nokia blackout. Am still wondering why Nokia wanted that and also why Microsoft allowed it. Two years is a life time in the mobile space. Just look at the devices we had two years back, a lot has changed. Microsoft by all means could have told Nokia what and they won’t inherit from them and specify what they will kill and wont kill. Which means, if that conversation had occurred we would not be seeing the Nokia X line up of phones.

Microsoft has a lot to gain with an internal Android platform

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What you have to understand here is that even though these phones are based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), they actually run Microsoft services not Google’s. This an opportunity Microsoft has to use to get Android users hooked to their services like xbox, Bing search and outlook. Microsoft already collects Android related licensing fees from several Android hardware makers that use AOSP which is based on Linux of which Microsoft already benefits from. They make about $5-$6 on every Android handset and I won’t be wrong if I concluded that currently, Microsoft makes more money on Android than on its own Windows Phone platform. For Windows phone developers out there, I think you should take this as an incentive to do even better apps.

I really don’t think Microsoft will kill these Nokia Android devices, plus I hope this Microsoft attempt to re-enter the phone market wont die they way the Kin project did, for those who remember it.