Opinion: Microsoft could be a serious Android OEM (for the consumer.)

Before Nokia was acquired by Microsoft, the Finnish company released an Android device they had been secretly working on for some time called the 'X' phone. It was clear Nokia was preparing a backup plan for if Windows Phone doesn't pull significant market-share.

Rather than going with their own UI, the company decided to heavily-skin Google's open-source Android device to look and function as if it was a Windows Phone. Few debate Microsoft's flat-before-flat-was-cool interface offers a refreshing take on a mobile device UI but the lack of applications found on Windows Phone held the platform back.

On our sister-publication, Enterprise Apps Tech, I'd posted an article whereby I explain why I think Windows will remain the only choice for business users. There are many reasons I think this, but the one which matters most is it remains the only platform with the ability to create enterprise applications which work across devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile) easily and with the same interface.

Where Microsoft still faces a huge problem is the average consumer. Windows 8 has left a bad taste in their mouth which - despite being vastly improved in subsequent updates - it will take Windows 9 at this point to have a real chance at winning some minds back. On mobile, which is most important to the average consumer, Microsoft has a real chance at being a serious Android OEM.

Microsoft has sent out invites to an event next week which is green in colour and points towards an updated 'X' phone being released. The next device can still only be considered a mid-range affair based on its rumoured specs of; a 4.3-inch screen with WVGA resolution, 1GB of RAM, a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, 4GB of internal storage, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a VGA front camera.

Microsoft's Android devices don't have access to the Play Store, and are heavily customised with their UI they rightly believe in, but if Windows Phone doesn't start gaining considerable traction amongst consumers I think we'll be seeing some high-end Android handsets this time next year. You can give me Nokia's fantastic hardware, with access to the Play Store, and I'd pick one up without a second of doubt.

Would you pick-up a high-end Nokia device with Android apps? Let us know in the comments.

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