Under Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella, we are seeing a kinder, gentler Microsoft, one willing to work with competing platforms like iOS (the iPhone/iPad operating system) and Android.
Even so, those three new Nokia X Android phones that CEO Stephen Elop announced in February clearly didn’t make Microsoft happy at the time. Microsoft is in the process of buying Nokia, its largest Windows phone partner, in a $US7.2 billion acquisition expected to close later this month. Until those new phones, Nokia had avoided Android and focused on Windows smartphones.
Days after the new Android phones were announced, Nokia hit 1 million pre-orders in China, the company said.
Given all that, Microsoft is looking at Android with new eyes, and is eyeing the iPad afresh, too, Microsoft Executive Vice President of operating systems, Terry Myerson, told ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley in an interview.
When Foley asked if Microsoft will keep the Nokia X phones around after it absorbs Nokia, Myerson gave a vague but hopeful answer. He indicated that it’s better to nab a Microsoft customer using an Android phone or an iPad than to not have that customer at all. He said:
More users of our applications and services is fantastic. If someone is (using an iPad), I hope they really are using Office and OneDrive and Skype, on that iPad. That is a fantastic Microsoft customer. It’s great for Microsoft. The same will be true of Nokia. I genuinely feel that way.
… I think that the thing to focus (on) is they are Microsoft customers of our apps and services. And we will win them back to Windows.
Also interesting, when Foley asked if Microsoft is looking for ways to run Android apps on Windows, he didn’t slam that door, even though he said that Windows apps were more important:
“We certainly are watching these various developments going on. There are third parties that are enabling (Android on Windows). We’re always keeping our eyes and ears open to what people are using and talking about. But for us it’s all about the Windows platform and Windows developers and delighting end users with the work of our Windows developers.”