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In a surprising development, Microsoft is reportedly coaxing HTC to offer Windows Phone “as a second option” on Android devices.

Microsoft is ready to cut or even eliminate licensing fees

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Microsoft is ready to cut or even eliminate licensing fees in order to convince HTC to load Windows Phone on its Android devices. It’s not clear if the arrangement would involve dual-booting the two operating systems or just providing them as options for users to choose from when buying the phone. The talks are in a preliminary stage, and Microsoft’s head of operating systems reportedly plans to visit HTC’s headquarters this month to work out a deal.

HTC is one of the several manufacturers that offer both Android and Windows Phone devices, but the struggling Taiwanese manufacturer is clearly more interested in Google’s successful free OS. The last Windows Phone device from HTC was the Sprint-bound 8XT in June.

The fact that Microsoft may accept cohabiting with Android is a sign that the Redmond-based company is willing to try anything to get Windows Phone off the ground. While the operating system accrued a double-digit market share in some markets in Europe and South America, at a global level, WP is still woefully behind Android and iOS, with a share of under four percent.

An even more interesting development is that, according to TechCrunch’s sources, Microsoft discussed internally loading Android on the Surface line, to dual-boot along Windows. Some of the company’s younger engineers are said to be open to adopting Android, though senior staff members oppose the idea.

Like its American partner, HTC is between a rock and a hard place at the moment. The company registered its first quarterly loss since it went public and things might not improve anytime soon.

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.