Microsoft said to be interested in popular Android mod, Cyanogen

If you are not familiar with the Android community, one of the most popular modifications to install on your device is a build of the OS by Cyanogen. The custom software is far from a novelty as the team behind the OS has raised millions of dollars and it now ships natively on the OnePlus One smartphone.

Seeing that the Android modification is getting popular, and that Android itself owns the largest slice of the market share pie, Cyanogen is attracting attention from big name companies, such as Microsoft. According to The Information, they are saying that the team has recently met with Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella.

Even though the team met with Nadella, we wouldn't jump to the conclusion, just yet, that they are interested in buying the company. For Microsoft, their main goal is to get their software on to as many devices as possible and they may be looking to use Cyanogen as a way to start pushing their services deeper into the Android community.

Yes, you can download all of Microsoft's products from the Google Play store but they may be looking to have these apps installed natively on all new deployments of Cyanogen.

The odd thing about Android is that Google, while they do control the app store aspect of the OS, has lost a bit of control. With vendors not issuing updates and companies like Amazon heavily modifiying their OS, not all Android installs are equal. But, their method has worked extremely well and they have the most used OS for mobile phones in the world. Because of this massive footprint, Microsoft is likely looking for ways to further deepen their influence within the Android community and that could be through Cyanogen.

Microsoft, as you would expect, has not said anything on the matter and even if they did, the comment would highly generic. Only time will tell if anything comes from this meeting with Microsoft, but you can be certain that it likely raised more than a few eyebrows in the Android world.

Source: The Information

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Isn't this just another of example of Microsoft's philosophy of "embrace, then destroy?" Those of us who have been around long enough the significance of this philosophy. As for the "young-uns," they wouldn't have any idea.

Why would Microsoft bring Microsoft services to Android when they could simply distribute versions of their OS that would run on whatever phone they wished? They already give away Windows Phone for free to OEMs. Why not allow the home brew community to the the same with it?

What if they were in talks with Cyanogen to distribute ROMs of Windows Phone that would run on non-Windows Phone models, like say a Nexus or Galaxy S 5? That would be the best way to go about it. Microsoft has already done the hard work-- their kernel runs just fine on most all of the CPUs used by all these Android phones. All they would need to develop are additional drivers to fill any gaps with device support, gyroscopes, wifi, etc. They would then have not only the services, but also the app market as well. Take what HTC just did with the M8 as an example of what could be possible.

This is what made MS-DOS so indispensable for PCs back in the day. Google simply repeated this tactic with Android on smartphones. Maybe Microsoft will return to their roots and return to their old mantra-- Windows on every device.

Just a thought.

Edited by bitslasher, Aug 31 2014, 8:21pm :

Because not everyone wants to run WP. Some people prefer Android. While MS would like everyone running a WP, if they could get a large section of Android users running Android configured with all defaults to MS services, that would be a positive for MS. Many of MS service are superior to Google's and would make for a better experience. Real offline maps, Office, One Drive, would be improvements to a base Android phone.

Good on MS, whilst I don't think they should ever dump Windows Phone, better intergration and service into Android would be great. One thing I have always appreciated with MS is their cross compatibility. Anyone can use Onedrive and share files easily. It isn't so fun with icloud.

Maybe they are contracting Cyanogen to take over the Nokia X line? instead of dumping everyone who purchased one?

I used to use CM based on 4.3. Didn't seem all that different than regular Android. Wonder if I was missing anything. CM just seemed like Android without the vendor preloaded crap.

babyHacker said,
I used to use CM based on 4.3. Didn't seem all that different than regular Android. Wonder if I was missing anything. CM just seemed like Android without the vendor preloaded crap.

Because thats exactly what CM is, with a few more features and tweaks.

If your stuck with a phone that has a custom interface / launcher, or hardware capable phone that CM supports and phone company/manufacture doesn't want to update, CM can be liberating.

Microsoft probing more way to 'invest' Microsoft's IP on Android via Cyanogen, so Microsoft could extract more patent royalties later.

A few years ago, I see a lot of goonies on Neowin trying to dissuade Android user by bashing them and put Microsoft Phone as the Messiah of the new trend. Do you still think Android suck? :p

windows phone failure doesn't mean its inferior compared to android. it has a very different and cleaner user interface approach. down to core it is more optimized and muchhhh more secure than android. but its failure is due to wrong decisions made under steve ballmer leadership. decisions such as wp 7.x , windows 8 , horrible approach to tablet and PC market. they killed windows 8 OS awesomeness by a horrible immature experience on PC and tablets which they fixed on 8.1 but once you leave bad impressions its hard to erase it. they also took a very bad approach regarding to gaining momentum for apps maker initiatives. now that the ship is sailed (thanks to ballmer) satya has no choice but to hit the water and try to catch up what had to be done in the pass.

I could see this as a talk that can bring Microsoft services to Android in the form of a package like CM has for Google Apps. CM would not want to offer them installed as default to keep their user base content with choices but an addon package could work.

I was surprised to learn (from CM website comments and G+ community) that many CM users don't want anything to do with Google and don't use their apps or services. The same could be said for Microsoft but I think the general perception about privacy and data mining is aimed more towards Google than any other company right now.

A really big scenario could be that Cyanogen builds an official (MS-approved) Windows Phone ROM for Android phones.

Let's wait and see what happens, this can be really interesting.

Meeting with the Microsoft head honcho seems to me a bit more than a simple ploy for a marketing or app deal.

One thing Cyanognen has managed to do is get things together in a way that more recent Android releases could be ported / installed on hardware otherwise deemed incompatible. Now, what if Microsoft is looking to tap into that talent and bring WP8 to devices "official" Android builds have left behind, or as an alternative OS for current handsets?

It is certainly possible that the Nokia X project opened up Microsoft's eyes to the possibilities. Nokia used Amazon's model for a curated Android experience but you don't need to do that to monetize the platform. In fact, you stand a better chance of gaining support from the AOSP market by leaving it more open. They could code the services and API's directly into the Cyanogenmod fork and leave it open for other handset manufacturers.

There are some really interesting possibilities here. It could be as simple as setting a default search provider but if they are discussing this with Satya, it is probably more strategic. If I were Microsoft, I would partner with a key AOSP provider to help develop a cohesive, "ecosystem" for the AOSP market that would allow any AOSP handset to plug into it. Naturally, it would use Microsoft services as the backbone. It could also include a curated store. Google isn't the only company that can monetize Android. Imagine a world where Google isn't able to leverage apps and services to control OEM partners. Microsoft is the only organization in the world that can do that across the full services spectrum. Amazon could have done that by they used Android for the OS platform and they do not have the search IP.

I'm speculating here but if you think about it, it is like uniting the clans to send England back home. They can give AOSP partners a viable alternative that doesn't include Google's restrictive terms with an extensible ecosystem that turns AOSP into a services juggernaut for Microsoft. When they said that they were considering the possibility of porting Cortana to Android, they never said that it would be Google's Android. It is absolutely BRILLIANT.

Microsoft has several ways to still break into mobile. One (which is starting now) is convincing OEMs to install Windows Phone OS on existing Android hardware. The second is by breaking through with the enterprise, where the Microsoft/Windows brand is still king. The third is by weakening Google's hold on Android... by the method described by fiftytwoeighty above... and then offering a better alternative.

Microsoft definitely got a late start in mobile and made a tragic mistake in trying to emulate Apple, when they should've been gunning for Google. It seems, now, they've figured it out, and the steps they've been taking (like making the OS free and tweaking the OS so it'll run on Android hardware) have a lot of potential. I guess we'll know in about a year or two whether it all paid off.

You give them too much credit. Their egos won't let them promote their services on a competitior's platform. All this is about is to get the CM community to support the now abandoned Nokia X range.

recursive said,
You give them too much credit. Their egos won't let them promote their services on a competitior's platform. All this is about is to get the CM community to support the now abandoned Nokia X range.

I'm not sure what you mean about this. Are you implying that the Office apps for iPhone and Android are a fabrication? Microsoft has release software for relevant platforms for years.

Samsung is offering Nokia HERE on the Galaxy. This could be a precursor for what is to come. If Samsung dropped out of the OHA and supported a Microsoft curated ecosystem for Android, it would be a decisive blow to Google. Again, this is all speculation but can you imagine? I'm half tempted to buy up all the Microsoft stock that I can while it is still affordable.

I don't see MS making any dent in foreseeable future in tablet market as long as they continue with crap horrible UI called Metro.

Auditor said,
I don't see MS making any dent in foreseeable future in tablet market as long as they continue with crap horrible UI called Metro.

Do you have a better idea for Microsoft?

Mr.XXIV said,

No one who criticizes on here has a better idea.


It was a rhetorical question. Most love to criticize the Metro design, but do not offer any ideas for what they believe Microsoft should be doing.

Ian William said,

It was a rhetorical question. Most love to criticize the Metro design, but do not offer any ideas for what they believe Microsoft should be doing.

I remember how people talked thee most trash about Metro when it was first revealed. The same people starting kissing MSFT's behinds later on.

Ian William said,

It was a rhetorical question. Most love to criticize the Metro design, but do not offer any ideas for what they believe Microsoft should be doing.

Nothing to criticize, the modern UI works very well on tablets, most people who've used a windows tablet will tell you so. The overall tablet market itself though, has stalled, all you have to do is look at Apples quarter after quarter of shrinking iPad sales to see it.

Auditor said,
I don't see MS making any dent in foreseeable future in tablet market as long as they continue with crap horrible UI called Metro.

Yes, they should switch back to an overly cluttered drop down and toolbar style GUI, filled to the brim with buttons, radio switches, and non descript dialog, etc, because that's obviously what people want.

/s

Most people who criticize Metro have never used it on a tablet. Metro is great on a tablet... which is exactly why Microsoft will continue to use it on tablets. It's also why, since the release of Windows Phone & Windows 8, it is iOS and Android that have copied the look and feel of Windows... and not the other way around.

cybersaurusrex said,
Most people who criticize Metro have never used it on a tablet. Metro is great on a tablet... which is exactly why Microsoft will continue to use it on tablets. It's also why, since the release of Windows Phone & Windows 8, it is iOS and Android that have copied the look and feel of Windows... and not the other way around.

Don't give us that "copy" bs. Microsoft wouldn't do Metro if web designers/developers didn't adopt minimalism through HTML5/CSS3. Why do you think Metro uses JS for example?

It's a visual trend, nothing more.

Mr.XXIV said,

No one who criticizes on here has a better idea.

That doesn't negate the criticisms.

And why should we have to do Microsoft's work for them? They have teams of supposed experts to do that.

simplezz said,

That doesn't negate the criticisms.

And why should we have to do Microsoft's work for them? They have teams of supposed experts to do that.

If you want something, do something for it. You're in a forum full of longhorn fans who were more satisfied with a custom version of Windows than Vista itself.

cybersaurusrex said,
Most people who criticize Metro have never used it on a tablet.

I've used it on the desktop, on a touch laptop, and on a tablet. And I can tell you with certainty, it's just as terrible on every form factor.

cybersaurusrex said,

It's also why, since the release of Windows Phone & Windows 8, it is iOS and Android that have copied the look and feel of Windows... and not the other way around.

Really? So where are all the dancing tiles on the homescreens of Android and iOS pray tell? The only company playing catchup here and copying features already present in other OS' is Microsoft. Notification centre? Check, Android software navigation buttons? Check.

And while we're on the subject of Metro tiles, have you ever taken a look at the original Nintendo Wii? I wonder where on earth Microsoft got the idea of animated squares from... Or perhaps animated widgets on just about every OS from the dawn of the GUI. You want animated tiles on Android? Just put a few widgets on a homescreen, and done! The difference is, you don't have to put up with it in your face 24/7.

Mr.XXIV said,

Don't give us that "copy" bs. Microsoft wouldn't do Metro if web designers/developers didn't adopt minimalism through HTML5/CSS3. Why do you think Metro uses JS for example?

It's a visual trend, nothing more.


lol...using js wont even give you EVERYTHING it has to offer. JS is just a part of it; not core.

oh and i'd say MS started going minimalistic before general web dev trend going minimalistic.

simplezz said,

I've used it on the desktop, on a touch laptop, and on a tablet. And I can tell you with certainty, it's just as terrible on every form factor.

And yet there are those who like the interface. Strange, isn't it?

simplezz said,
Really? So where are all the dancing tiles on the homescreens of Android and iOS pray tell?

I believe he is referring to the flat design popularized by Metro.

simplezz said,
The only company playing catchup here and copying features already present in other OS' is Microsoft. Notification centre? Check, Android software navigation buttons? Check.

Uhm, no. Microsoft had planned to include at least one of those features (the notification center) with Windows years before Android or iOS had existed. See http://web.archive.org/web/20031221215430/http://msdn.microsoft.com/Longhorn/understanding/ux/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnaero/html/wux_topic_alerts.asp

simplezz said,
And while we're on the subject of Metro tiles, have you ever taken a look at the original Nintendo Wii? I wonder where on earth Microsoft got the idea of animated squares from... Or perhaps animated widgets on just about every OS from the dawn of the GUI. You want animated tiles on Android?

Both Android and iOS use elements that are traditionally associated with desktop operating systems in their UI design. What is your point?

simplezz said,
Just put a few widgets on a homescreen, and done! The difference is, you don't have to put up with it in your face 24/7.

You don't have to put up with it "in your face 24/7" in Windows 8 either. No one has to use the Start screen 24/7, and for those who don't like it, they can install a replacement such as Classic Shell.

simplezz said,

Really? So where are all the dancing tiles on the homescreens of Android and iOS pray tell? The only company playing catchup here and copying features already present in other OS' is Microsoft. Notification centre? Check, Android software navigation buttons? Check.

I wanted to include this in my previous post, but my time limit expired.

The assertion that Microsoft is copying Google in terms of design/features is laughable when one views this topic: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1219427-hmm-this-looks-familiar/#entry596465477

simplezz said,

I've used it on the desktop, on a touch laptop, and on a tablet. And I can tell you with certainty, it's just as terrible on every form factor.

Many disagree with this statement.

Mr.XXIV said,

Don't give us that "copy" bs. Microsoft wouldn't do Metro if web designers/developers didn't adopt minimalism through HTML5/CSS3. Why do you think Metro uses JS for example?

It's a visual trend, nothing more.

Yeah, thats totally why Microsoft uses JS. /s

Considering I build web applications professionally, I don't need you to explain that to me. I was just pointing out that JS did not have to be used for Metro, hence it has no bearing on the design, as you put it.

They used it to entice other developers, not just traditional client application developers.

simplezz said,

I've used it on the desktop, on a touch laptop, and on a tablet. And I can tell you with certainty, it's just as terrible on every form factor.

And there we have the proof that you have not used it at all on a touch device.

Auditor said,
I don't see MS making any dent in foreseeable future in tablet market as long as they continue with crap horrible UI called Metro.

What on earth does Cyanogen have to do with Metro?

Dot Matrix said,

Many disagree with this statement.



Many disagree with your statement, in btwn start menu coming back and annoying bar gone in next release.

simplezz said,
Time to start up a Cyanogenmod fork me thinks ;)

Go for it! We have an entire forum dedicated to Android.

xrobwx said,
Google perhaps should have expressed interest in them?

Google has been doing anything it can to standardize the Android UI, they don't want moded UIs, part of the deal with Samsung a while ago was about the UI as well iirc.

i thinks its more about the talents behind cyanogen than android it self or adding Microsoft services to cyanogenmod

subcld said,
i thinks its more about the talents behind cyanogen than android it self or adding Microsoft services to cyanogenmod

It could go either way, they could want to snag them up and have them work on WP/Windows UI work or they could want to have them add MSs apps/services (Skype, onedrive etc) directly into CM.

Completely disagree. Google has a near stranglehold on the market now. Even some of their OEMs are trying to gain some distance, from Google, not the OS. Samsung for example, who has the biggest part of the Android market share, has been slowly switching out Google services for others, just the other day picking up Nokia's HERE Maps. Having some realistic competition is a good thing, curious to see where Microsoft goes with it.

Wait, Samsung is using HERE Maps? Is that why their commercials always say "The next big thing is here?"

Type comment here...

That's why this is brilliant. Of all the members of the OHA, Samsung would be the first to jump ship.to AOSP. They are also the single largest producer of Android handsets. I'd be shocked if Microsoft isn't going to do this. They don't need to own the OS to monetize it. A small part of me is giggling with the thought of signing into an Android handset with a Microsoft account. Google services are no longer indispensible. The Cyanogenmod community is tailor-made for beta testing a services platform for Android FROM Microsoft. I can't believe that someone hasn't tried to do this before. AOSP is the chink in the armor for Google but it is more like a gaping hole that is getting bigger with every passing day.

fiftytwoeighty said,
That's why this is brilliant. Of all the members of the OHA, Samsung would be the first to jump ship.to AOSP. They are also the single largest producer of Android handsets. I'd be shocked if Microsoft isn't going to do this. They don't need to own the OS to monetize it. A small part of me is giggling with the thought of signing into an Android handset with a Microsoft account. Google services are no longer indispensible. The Cyanogenmod community is tailor-made for beta testing a services platform for Android FROM Microsoft. I can't believe that someone hasn't tried to do this before. AOSP is the chink in the armor for Google but it is more like a gaping hole that is getting bigger with every passing day.

No. Samsung has no interest in AOSP, and why would they when they have branded themselves with Touchwiz? They now have brand and software recognition. They won't shake that up by dumping their own overlay.

I think eventually they will though. They already have their "Samsung Account" and stores etc.

All they need is to put TouchWiz on the AOSP, remove the Google apps and then they have complete control.

I wouldn't be suprised if it happened tbh.

ThisIsStockerHD said,
I think eventually they will though. They already have their "Samsung Account" and stores etc.

All they need is to put TouchWiz on the AOSP, remove the Google apps and then they have complete control.

I wouldn't be suprised if it happened tbh.

Erm...AOSP doesn't have Google apps to remove.

At any rate, they tried this before and few liked it. They hacked their phones to death because of it. Remember the GS1 with Bing as default?

They will not remove Google services because that is exactly what helps keep people on Android. Samsung's own services pale in comparison. It is much more likely that they will attempt a Tizen switch if they can get a solid app ecosystem going.

Nobody uses AOSP as their base except small time developers. Not even CM anymore when it comes to retail phone releases.

Nothing but good will come of offering users more choice. Everyone assumed this is about MS taking over Cyanogen. What if they just offer an options pack to install all the MS services. Having One Note, Here Maps, Office, OneDrive would all improve Android over Google's options.

My concern is that they give WP users an easier way into Android and it may be a sign that MS is exploring options to continuing WP completely.

Type comment here...

Cyanogen will turn into the laughing stock of the Android community. A lot of the Android community want nothing to do with Microsoft software.

I've seen nothing that suggests that the Android community has any major distaste for Microsoft software, although zealotry exists on all platforms (just take a look at the venomous garbage that appears in most of the Google-oriented Neowin comment sections).

To be fair, I seriously doubt that Microsoft wants to take over Cyanogenmod. These meetings are much more likely to be about stuff like:

- Using Bing as the default Cyanogenmod search engine.
- Pre-loading Microsoft apps (e.g. Bing maps, OneNote, etc).

If the Cyanogenmod team were smart about it, it's certainly plausible that such a deal could happen. Having a "mapps" package that you could install after-the-fact (like they already do for "gapps") is certainly something I could see in the future.

Star-Pirate said,
The problem is... Android already has Microsoft code in it, that's why every product sold with it, some money goes to MS.

Not exactly MS code if I remember correctly but code that has been patented by MS since the US loves patents that are pointless.

Sonne said,
A lot of the Android community want nothing to do with Microsoft software.

The majority of the world uses Windows, so the "android community" must be pretty small.

Majesticmerc's comment makes sense, and would benefit both companies. Bing would see more mobile use and Cyanogenmod would get some extra money.

Microsoft apps on CyanogenMod won't happen unless those apps can be compiled from source by port maintainers or CyanogenMod is given access to the source so they can push their own changes/fixes.
The quicksearch bar isn't in the default build as it breaks google's launcher so the only place than push Bing is through the default browser.

I think Microsoft's interest here is only in switching successors of NokiaX to cyanogenmod instead of Nokia's android port.

Hussam Al-tayeb said,
I think Microsoft's interest here is only in switching successors of NokiaX to cyanogenmod instead of Nokia's android port.

I don't think they're going to go out of their way to help 10 people.

Enron said,

I don't think they're going to go out of their way to help 10 people.


why not? it is less work for Microsoft. Since they basically got rid of many old Nokia employees, they want a pre-developed android port and that is what Cyanogenmod provides. They don't even need to contribute to cyanogenmod.
And they are apparently still releasing cheap phones (even a 20 dollar s30).

When you think about it, they could go much bigger. They could take the Google out of Android entirely with a plug-in ecosystem for the AOSP market.

Hussam Al-tayeb said,
Microsoft apps on CyanogenMod won't happen unless those apps can be compiled from source by port maintainers or CyanogenMod is given access to the source so they can push their own changes/fixes.
The quicksearch bar isn't in the default build as it breaks google's launcher so the only place than push Bing is through the default browser.

I think Microsoft's interest here is only in switching successors of NokiaX to cyanogenmod instead of Nokia's android port.

The Cyanogenmod team are happy to promote the [url=http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Google_Apps]Google Apps. It's possible that Microsoft is looking for a partnership whereby Cyanogenmod provides an "official" Microsoft package, albeit not as part of the default install (the same as the Google Apps package).

It's not unreasonable that Microsoft would try to convince the Cyanogenmod team to switch to Bing by default as well. It might not seem like much, but every little helps.

It is also plausible that they're going to look at Cyanogenmod for their next batch of Nokia Androids (if such a thing ever happens), much like OnePlus did.

do you guys really think that THE BOSS from MS would personally go visit and have a meeting for a minor thing like default search engine and nokia X.

korupt_one said,
do you guys really think that THE BOSS from MS would personally go visit and have a meeting for a minor thing like default search engine and nokia X.

It's more plausible than Microsoft trying to buy an open source operating system :rolleyes:

Majesticmerc said,

It's more plausible than Microsoft trying to buy an open source operating system :rolleyes:

I think they're interested in the team, not their product.

Eric said,

I think they're interested in the team, not their product.

Another plausible possibility, but that could be a publicity catastrophe for Microsoft. Absconding with the biggest non-OEM-affiliated Android dev team would set the Android ROM scene back quite significantly, and it'd leave a lot of people with some seriously sour grapes, especially the likes of OnePlus, who are currently dependent on the CM team for their OS updates.

Some people might notice that their mobile OS stops getting updates, but in reality most people won't realise it happened, even fewer why it happened, and even fewer will hold a grudge against a company for such behaviour - and regardless, those people who will be bothered will be a select group of android users that are unlikely to consider Microsoft's offerings anyway.

lt8480 said,
Some people might notice that their mobile OS stops getting updates, but in reality most people won't realise it happened, even fewer why it happened, and even fewer will hold a grudge against a company for such behaviour - and regardless, those people who will be bothered will be a select group of android users that are unlikely to consider Microsoft's offerings anyway.

The people who install Cyanogenmod are the kind of people who would notice such things. Half the time, the entire reason people go to Cyanogenmod (or other 3rd party ROM devs) is that they want to continue to receive updates after the manufacturer ends support.

It'd be similar to Microsoft saying that they were ceasing all development of Windows Phone to work on Android apps. Would you support such a move if this were the case? We're not talking small numbers either, estimates in December put Cyanogenmod at 10 million installs, and it will surely be higher now. That's a lot of people that Microsoft could potentially ###### off.

Whilst 10m users is a significant is still accounts for less than 1% of Android users so it's no a huge issue.

I'd suspect that many users would simply continue to use the latest version for a while and then would jump to another Android variant when they wanted to upgrade to a later version. I don't think many people would be actively annoyed by Microsoft and respond in anyway to Microsoft because of it.

What if we look at this the other way round and Microsoft will deploy a framework so android can run windows phone apps? And have access to the store?

Far fetched, granted but an interesting thought nonetheless

MSFT knows exactly what they want to do with WP and where to take it. major clues were hinted at during the recent mpwc. Microsoft knows exactly what they are doing and that may not be what a lot of people are expecting. Lets just say they see WP as part of a whole, not as a separate entity and are moving the whole bandwagon in the direction they want to go.

bithush said,
If MS want WP to succeed then they need to be careful about how easy it is for others to stay away from the platform.

People said the same thing when Google provided apps to iOS. The end result does not match the concern.

adrynalyne said,

People said the same thing when Google provided apps to iOS. The end result does not match the concern.

Google are a services provider. As long as people use their services they are happy. They don't need to worry about selling Android phones as they already sell 80+% anyway. MS are in a very different position.

bithush said,

Google are a services provider. As long as people use their services they are happy. They don't need to worry about selling Android phones as they already sell 80+% anyway. MS are in a very different position.

So is Microsoft. Just because they also provide hardware and OSes doesn't mean they do not provide services as well.

I understand why people don't want companies tracking them......not just google, but lots of other companies track you. Sat Nav apps track you, location based services just as locate360, mapmywalk, google my tracks etc etc track you. If you don't want it, fine, I do understand but boy are you missing out on some cool technology.

Integrating Chrome, Google Now, Google Navigation is just fantastic imho

This is a smart move by MS. Cyanogenmod has been the foundation for many of my own roms I have released on xda. Whilst not perfect, it's up there with the best.....and way better than some of the so called 'professional' roms by the likes of HTC and Samsung.

That's interesting. So these Cyanogen phones... don't you still need a Google account for getting stuff from the Pray Store? Or is there an alternative to that? I'd consider one of these phones if it had 0% Google.

Yes you still need a Google account to get apps from the Google store, but no Google apps are included in Cyanogen roms by default, they have to be added (easy enough to do).

Having said that, you could manually install apps or use other app stores to install apps. I think Amazon still run one, HP used to have one - at least it did on my Zeen tablet, and there was another that I've forgotten the name of.

So you want an Android phone without the actual operating system installed. I'm sure there are cheaper paperweights available.

Nah, I want the customizability of Android, without the Google services tracking me, but with an app store, preferably not one run by Google.

Edit: Although, it would be pretty cool if you could buy a phone and then choose which OS you want on it. So yes, I wouldn't mind a phone without the actual operating system installed (as long as I can still put one on it)

Type comment here...

That's where PrivacyGuard comes in from Cyanogenmod. You can select specific apps and deny them access to sensitive/private information. I would prefer Cyanogenmod over AOSP right now because of the enhance features.

.Neo said,
So you want an Android phone without the actual operating system installed. I'm sure there are cheaper paperweights available.
It's not an Android phone without the actual OS installed (I hope you were joking on this one, still), it's Android (the OS) without the extra stuff that comes with Google Play services - maps, geolocation, bunch of messaging apis, etc. The combination of Cyanogen + hardware makes an Android phone but not a Google phone.

That's because the Nokia X was a low budget phone, and low budget phones don't run Android well. Even a lot of high budget phones don't run Android well. Also, there was no app store, so it was pretty useless.

Type comment here...

tsupersonic said,
Been done before. Look at Nokia X and then released right after that, the X2. Both devices were just terrible

Low spec phones without the option for google play out of the box, limited sales. No surprise they flopped.

sounds like a disaster to me

it's well know that many cross platform apps perform better on ios and android, hell even microsofts own apps perform better for some weird reason?

tsupersonic said,
What did you guys expect - a Microsoft phone with a competitor's vastly larger app store? You guys need to rethink that...

With an OS that doesn't fit into Microsoft's vision of combining everything. There is more to think on this than a large app store.