Nokia X has forked Android, so what’s the future for the Windows Phone?
There are only two mobile operating systems that matter, iOS and Android. There was some excitement years ago when Microsoft announced its partnership with Nokia that just maybe the Windows operating system would become another major player in the mobile OS space. That was until yesterday when Nokia announced at the Mobile World Congress the X family of Smartphones that runs on a forked Android OS, so what does that mean for the future of the Windows phone?
The X signifies the cross over between three worlds: Android apps, Nokia design heritage and Microsoft services. In developing an OS using only the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and not utilising the Google Mobile Services it means that the Nokia X software platform is not a true Android device as it has not been certified by Google.
Despite this it will run many of the standard Android Apps and these will be able to be loaded through Nokia’s own App store, or can be loaded on the phone directly. So in most cases developers will be able to make their Android Apps run on the Nokia X software platform with little work to be done to account for the fact the Apps cannot access the Google Mobile Services APIs.
So what does this mean for Microsoft and the future of the Windows Phone?
It appears that the main motivation behind the Nokia X series is to provide an affordable phone that is aimed at the developing markets. This suits Microsoft who has an objective to break into the developing markets and bring the next one billion people online.
So in reality for Microsoft it is not about connecting a billion people to the Windows Phone, it is more about connecting one billion people to their cloud services. So maybe it is time to accept that at least in the foreseeable distant future we are not going to see a real competitor to Android and iOS.