Microsoft to release Android "Lumia" phones?

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Rumours this morning are suggesting that Microsoft could be planning a big shift in its strategy with the release of Lumia-branded devices that run Android rather than the company’s own Windows Phone operating system.

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The reason the rumours should be taken seriously? They come courtesy of the consistently reliable @evleaks on Twitter:

This wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft has made an Android device: just a couple of weeks ago it announced the Nokia X2 (it bought Nokia’s phone business, remember?) – which runs a heavily customised version of Android to resemble the aesthetics of the Windows. Where this would signal a break is that whilst the Nokia X line is a budget/entry level range of phones, Lumias Microsoft’s flagship high-end handsets, which aim to compete with the likes of the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S5.

The reasons for such a move would perhaps make a lot of sense: whilst Windows Phone has a tiny market share and lacks many of the key apps (which no doubt puts many users off), a switch to the Nokia X flavour of Android would mean that the company can retain the look and feel of previous Windows devices, whilst guaranteeing compatibility with thousands (millions?) of Android apps.

Perhaps Microsoft really does expect Windows Phone to fail after all?

We’ll let you know more when we hear anything official.

James O’Malley