It is no real secret that, despite Microsoft pouring in many of its millions, Windows Phone has failed to gain significant traction around the world. Faced with seemingly insurmountable competition, Redmond has often looked for alternative routes to success.
To this end, rumors of a device that could potentially dual-boot Android and Windows Phone have hung around for years. Now it seems, fiction is one step closer to becoming truth, as according to USPTO Microsoft has received a patent for a multi-boot os via a mobile device. This theoretically means that deep inside the labs of Redmond, there exists a mobile device that can dual-boot Windows 10 and Android (by far the most likely OS combination).
As we have seen with the likes of the HTC One M8 for Windows and a Windows 10 ROM being developed for the Xiaomi Mi4, Microsoft is keen to bring a little Android magic to its mobile empire. Indeed, as Windows Phone continues to lag, in uptake around the world, this kind of out-of-the-box thinking may just pay off in the long-term.
How successful such a device could be however is entirely up for debate. In China, users have become accustomed to loading up separate ROMS onto their devices. Chinese OEMs often ship their phones with an unlocked bootloader, given that there are multiple flavors of forked Android on the market, including a number of stores and manufacturer skins, such a device could theoretically be quite popular. In this market, where Google Play Services are completely unknown for many, Microsoft may have something of a winner.
In contrast, the Western market is completely different, consumers do not tinker, such a device would be of more use to developers, seeking to test their apps on different platforms. Indeed given that Microsoft has made tools for Android app development (in order to boost developer familiarity and ease the process of porting to Windows 10 as much as possible), this may be its plan.
Whatever Microsoft has planned, this is an interesting area to watch.
Would you like to see a mobile device that could dual-boot Windows Phone/10 and Android? Let us know in the comments below.