Microsoft has just reveled new details about the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 at MWC in Barcelona, including the ability to be loaded on Qualcomm-based Android hardware. Their main goal is an obvious one even from the start: this should come as a support for manufacturers all over the world to take phones that were initially design with Android and use them as long as they could perfectly work with Windows Phone as well. So, although the official Windows Phone 8.1 version won’t be seen any sooner than the end of this spring, Microsoft’s corporate vice president, Joe Belfiore has already revealed some of the more interesting capabilities that this future platform is expected to have:
Windows Phone 8.1 will support Snapdragon 200, 400, and 400 LTE chips
In the first place, as we have announced you even from the title, Windows Phone 8.1 will support Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 200, 400, and 400 LTE chips, easily letting Windows Phone run on existing Android hardware. In order to make such a thing possible, it is obviously that we are going to find soft buttons instead of those hard buttons that we are used to and no physical ‘Windows key’. Moreover the SD support will be expanded, so you’ll have the possibility to store apps on SD cards, which is a major advantage especially for low-memory handsets.
New hardware partners
Microsoft has also announced that more new hardware partners will join its list and here we can find big names such as ZTE, LG, or Lenovo, along with some less popular Chinese and Indian manufacturers such as Longcheer, Xolo, or Gionee. And we bet that the list will become even larger than that, this latest idea being like an invitation for any company to build its own Windows Phone based on a new Qualcomm reference platform.
Microsoft and Android
So, there is no doubt that Microsoft is targeting Android users more than ever. As you probably know, besides announcing that Windows Phone 8.1 will have the ability to be loaded on Qualcomm-based Android hardware, the manufacturer is also working on bringing Android users to Windows Phone thanks to its new Nokia X smartphone that it is expected to feature a forked version of Android that has Microsoft and Nokia services.
But Microsoft has also set some boundaries that cannot be crossed; the company has confirmed that dual-booting is out of discussion, so it isn’t the case to be talking about a handset that could come with both Android and Windows Phone. That’s just something that won’t happen!
Microsoft won’t be offering their Windows Phone 8.1 software for loading onto handsets that are already released on the market, but here there’s still hope. Don’t forget that guys from developer forums like XDA have made miracles possible before!