Cyanogen has announced a partnership with Microsoft that will see Microsoft apps and services built into Cyanogen’s new mobile operating system. Cyanogen has been trying to take Android away from Google, and it looks like it is turning to Microsoft to fill in the gaps that are left behind by removing Google’s stock apps.
Under the partnership, Cyanogen will integrate and distribute Microsoft’s apps across the core categories. Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Search will be replaced by the Microsoft equivalent. Which means that consumers will be able to face the potential of running Android with Bing, OneDrive, and Outlook at the core apps instead. The announcement also says that both Skype and Microsoft Office are part of the deal.
What is interesting about a fork in Android at this moment in time is the fact that so many features rely on core Google apps. Particularly Google Play Services, which allows for little things like push notifications, in-app purchases, and location APIs. Cyanogen is working on an in-house app store, but has not said how it will work around this particular problem yet.
Microsoft’s part in this is interesting as it appears to be happy to share out its services to another operating system. The company has been increasing the number of Microsoft apps available to other platforms, which is a sign that it is embracing the competition in an attempt to get more users on board. A reported investment deal by Microsoft with Cyanogen fell through, and it appears that the two companies have opted for this partnership instead.
It will be very strange to see an Android OS powered by Microsoft and Windows instead. Although there is no word on when Cyanogen will have its new OS ready for the mass market.