Could Microsoft fork Android and succeed? Would it ultimately matter if it did?

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Paul’s article “The Failure of Windows Phone and the Next Big Thing” made me start thinking of the potential of a Microsoft fork of Android again.  Not that he mentioned it, but the line “because Google made Android an open(ish) platform, it faces the possibility that others (cough, Microsoft) could undercut them on their own platform, much as rival browsers did to Windows and IE a decade and a half ago.” reminded me it was a possibility.  

Then I started to wonder what the real gains would be if they did?  They would be able to bundle their services in by default but all of the services are already available to those that want them on any Android phone.  They would have to create/support another store.  It would be much easier for developers to bring over their apps but would still require some work to tie into Microsoft services.  It would complicate UWP.  I’d think that canceled Project Astoria could be used in reverse to allow the mobile apps to run on Windows 10 maybe.  

I guess as a user of and fan of Microsoft services, I’d love it if they would but I’m having a hard time thinking of reasons it would make sense and wanted to see what everyone else thought.  

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