How Microsoft Plans to Take a Huge Bite out Of Android Market Share

Just recently, Microsoft announced partnerships with many major Android OEMs, including Samsung and Dell, to preload Microsoft Office and Skype apps on many of their devices. This news, paired with Microsoft’s announcement last week about testing Windows 10 for Phones on Xiaomi Android devices, reveals Microsoft’s master plan to steal a fair amount of mobile market share from Google.

So what exactly is this plan in the works? It all starts with products and services, the recent realization of Microsoft’s that they need to port to other platforms to stay in business. They’ve proven good at this game with their Office Apps for iOS becoming some of the most popular productivity apps out there. Now by preloading their apps on Android devices, they can begin to pull people away from Google services there, as well, and from there pull people from the platform altogether.

Now you might be thinking, Windows Phone hasn’t been successful in the past, what changes anything now? Why would people switch from Android to Windows?

Well, multiple things. For one Microsoft has begun to pull together a pretty formidable lineup of low-end and mid-range phones in the past few months, with a couple awesome flagships expected with the release of Windows 10. But it’s not just good, affordable hardware that will pull people from Android.

No, the software will be a big part of it, as well. Windows 10 will have insane integration with Microsoft products. This will make it an even sweeter deal as many Android users will already be invested in Microsoft by the time Windows 10 rolls around, due to these recent deals with manufacturers.

But it gets even better. In light of Microsoft announcing their testing of Windows 10 on Xiaomi devices, and their eagerness to give away free Windows licenses for small-screen devices, I am proposing that Microsoft will make Windows 10 a free upgrade for Android users.

I know it sounds a little crazy, and it would be extremely difficult for Microsoft to do, but it is possible. Windows 10 for phones is opening up compatibility for a wider range of screen resolutions and processors, and it may not be to make new Lumias. It could be to open compatibility for Android devices. This type of thing has also been done before, to an extent. CyanogenMod is an example, although it is very hard to load Cyanogen on your device. Microsoft could streamline the process. The HTC One M8 is also proof that Android and Windows devices are very similar, given the Android and Windows Phone versions are identical in hardware.

Although I’m not saying Microsoft will definitely make this an option for Android users, it is most certainly a possibility, as it would dramatically improve market share for Windows Phone and create much more diversity in the different types and brands of devices running the mobile Windows OS.

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Originally published at on March 30, 2015.