Pierre Perron, head of Sony Mobile Europe, has told TechRadar that the company doesn’t want to be tied to just a single smartphone operating system, and that Sony is engaged in discussions with Microsoft about hedging its bets in the smartphone market.
(Working with Microsoft) is an interesting proposition for us in the PC environment, and we continue our engagement with them... We are exploring this as part of our discussion in the mobile space too.
However, soon after the interview Sony’s CEO, Kunimasa Suzuki, stated that the company has no plans to release a Windows Phone, so take the comments as more of an exploratory statement rather than a commitment. Even so, a move into the Windows Phone market might be a sensible hedge, Sony already has strong connections with Microsoft via its range of Windows based laptops.
Although Sony seems in a pretty secure position right now, the company hasn’t always had such a successful time in the Android market. Its older generation of Android handsets failed to gain the same level of recognition as the older Sony Ericsson models and some of its more recent smartphones, due to intense competition from the other big Android players like Samsung and HTC. The Xperia range may finally be competing at the top end of the market, but there’s no guarantee that this success will last.
We don't want to be a single OS manufacturer, I don't think it's a viable position in the long term
In the hugely competitive Android market it’s tough to tell if your next device will be a success, but with Windows the number of competing manufacturers is smaller. Perhaps Sony believes that it can capture a good sector of the smaller Windows Phone market.