Microsoft has been throwing every possible idea at the wall to get back into the smartphone game. Since the company’s own Windows Phone platform is dead, Microsoft now sells third-party Android phones at its online store. Microsoft’s former employee Hal Berenson in a series of blog post explained that the company should develop an Android phone or ask OEMs to make phones with Microsoft services.
While Microsoft is already selling the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note8 with its services, Berenson believes that the phones should be a step well beyond the Microsoft Apps app. He explains Microsoft could work with OEMs to create a Microsoft experience of the devices, the phones should have a customized version of Android with Microsoft Launcher, Edge pre-installed.
“It could work with OEMs to create Microsoft experience versions of devices that have pre-built Android images that come configured with Microsoft Launcher, Edge, etc. Or it could find a way to do a one-button setup of the Microsoft experience,” he added.
Berenson also explains that any attempt to block Google services will kill the Android phone project. “They shouldn’t try to hide or bury the other Android goodness. Block installation of arbitrary applications from Google Play? Death. Have a OOBE experience that doesn’t embrace the Google ecosystem in parallel with the Microsoft ecosystem? Death. Lock the device to Bing? Death,” he said.
“Microsoft Phone is a true Android Phone with a Microsoft-centric experience on it, not something that has Android underneath but a completely different user experience and app ecosystem aka the Amazon Fire Phone’s Fire OS,” he explains.
He expects Microsoft to improve the Launcher, Edge browser and Cortana experience on Android in 2018. Microsoft may be also planning to launch an app that will make any Android a Microsoft Phone with one tap. “Whatever the details of how it plays out, a replacement strategy for Windows Phone is finally apparent. It is Android, brought to you by the Windows team,” he added.