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


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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  1. 0 | Reply
    inlocoabsentia - 3 weeks ago

    A better version of this would be to buy Cyanogen outright and have those guys try to fight Android from within. There is no love lost for Google there, so I think they'd enjoy the task.

  2. 0 | Reply
    maethorechannen Alpha Member #377 - 3 weeks ago

    I think it would be a lot less effort for Microsoft to just make apps that people would want to install. Forking Android makes no rational sense for a company like Microsoft.

    1. 0 | Reply
      BlueCaret Alpha Member #173 - 3 weeks ago
      In reply to maethorechannen:

      It's not a matter of Microsoft just "making the apps", they can't just duplicate all apps that everyone wants (legally), they have to get the developers onboard. And the developers have to agree to it even if it is Microsoft making the app for them. Plus there are giant studios out there dedicated to just a couple apps, I don't think Microsoft could handle just making ALL of their apps themselves (sounds kind of like Nintendo!). Not that simple. They were just too late to the game, iOS and Android were already the defacto standard and apparently this market can't handle three primary players.

    2. 0 | Reply
      Sprtfan Alpha Member #153 - 3 weeks ago
      In reply to BlueCaret:

      I think maethorechannen was referring to Microsoft making Apps to bring their services to other platforms like iOS and Android.  Not recreating all the apps on iOS or Android for Windows 10 mobile.  This would be easier than forking Android to get people to use Microsoft services.

    3. 0 | Reply
      Sprtfan Alpha Member #153 - 3 weeks ago
      In reply to maethorechannen:

      yeah, I agree but run into people and articles that seem to think it would be a great idea everyonce in a while and wanted to see if there was an angle that I could be missing.  The main advantage I can think of would be that people tend to use what is set to default/preinstalled on their phone.  That could probabaly be accomplished with agreements with manufacturers though.