Back in August, a report claimed that Microsoft was 'interested' in Cyanogen, makers of the popular 'CyanogenMod' user experience that has been installed on tens of millions of Android devices, and which comes preloaded on handsets like the OnePlus One. But since that initial report, things have been a bit quiet on that front, although Cyanogen apparently declined an acquisition offer from Google in October.
But today, Microsoft's interest in Cyanogen has become the subject of another report, this time from The Wall Street Journal. Citing unnamed "people familiar with the matter", it claims that Microsoft is a minority investor in a round of equity financing worth around $70m.
There have apparently been many expressions of interest from potential 'strategic investors' who are keen to see Cyanogen grow, as they are said to be "eager to diminish Google's control over Android". Indeed, Cyanogen chief executive Kirt McMaster is quoted as saying "We're going to take Android away from Google" last week.
Microsoft has been making its software more widely available on other platforms in recent months, such as its new Office suite for Android tablets, which came out of beta today. But even as it prepares to launch its new Windows 10 OS on phones, PCs and many other devices, it is still keen to explore any possible opportunities to extend the reach of its software further.
While it may only be a minority investor in this latest funding round, Microsoft's funding may well open up new opportunities - perhaps including the possibility of pre-installing its software in future CyanogenMod releases.
For now, of course, we'll have to wait and see how this plays out. But it seems clear that - even with Windows 10 just around the corner - Microsoft has no intentions of throttling back on its plans to make its software available everywhere.
Source: The Wall Street Journal