Microsoft has acquired a few local operations of Movial, a Finnish software engineering and design services firm that specializes in mobile and embedded devices (via SeeNews). According to a report by Windows Central, the company was providing third-party services to Microsoft for the development of Android OS for the Surface Duo smartphone.
What the move means is that the software giant could be forming an internal team that will be responsible for the OS work of the Surface Duo going forward. Movial was said to be working with Microsoft on a prototype version of that smartphone. That work may now be moving in-house. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Movial's operations in the U.S., Romania, and Taiwan are owned by Microsoft as part of the deal. In addition, the firm's office in Iasi, Romania will serve as Microsoft's fourth research and development center in the country. Microsoft is also incorporating 60 Movial employees into its Devices division in an effort to advance its work on Android-based devices. The new team is expected to also develop Android OS for the Surface Duo V2, which is reportedly in the works.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Neowin:
"Microsoft recently completed an agreement with Movial to hire employees across several offices as part of the company's efforts to boost Windows and Android development efforts."
Microsoft's latest move is seen as a part of its preparation for the rumored launch of the Surface Duo in the next few weeks. The Android phone is said to be powered by a Snapdragon 855 SoC paired with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 256GB of internal storage.
Update: This article has been updated to include Microsoft's statement. The company clarified that it did not acquire Movial, but that it only hired some of its employees as part of its Android push.