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Microsoft encourages third-party Windows Phones with more flexible policies

Mark Hachman | Aug. 22, 2014
As part of the push toward hardware flexibility that Microsoft announced in February, seventeen third-party Windows Phones are now either in production or will be announced shortly, a senior Microsoft executive said late Wednesday.

Microsoft's Sullivan said those resources included several dedicated HTC engineers who worked onsite at Microsoft, directly with the engineering team. "And I think the onus was on us to enable our software to do what we need to do on this device," he said. 

"This is absolutely a change we're embracing and encouraging," Sullivan said of the new program to bring Android phones to Windows Phone. "It's been interesting to see that of these 17 devices that have been announced or are available, most of them are for emerging markets or are lower-cost devices. But we've always known that there is this spectrum of devices that this would range from all the way from affordable devices up to the marquee and high-end devices like the HTC One. While this is the first flagship, we're open for business."

One particular aspect of Windows Phone, for now, remains sacrosanct: the user interface, which Sullivan called "one of the core things that sets us apart." In other words, don't expect a Windows Phone skinned in the style of HTC's Sense interface.

For the last few years, however, the Windows Phone hardware ecosystem has been the Nokia Lumia line and not much else. A little variety, Microsoft hopes, could be the spice that livens up the moribund Windows Phone market.


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