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Summary:

The company says it doesn’t want to be “a single OS manufacturer.”

Xperia Z1F group
photo: Sony

Like many smartphone manufacturers, Sony has been dedicated to just one platform, and that’s Google’s Android. But the company might be looking to branch out, and has confirmed to TechRadar that it is in talks with Microsoft about using its Windows Phone OS.

Pierre Perron, head of Sony Mobile Europe, explained: “We are continuing our discussions with other partners, including Microsoft, as part of our partnership with this company on the broader Sony spectrum…One thing is using the platform [Windows Phone] itself, and another is ‘what can we deliver on top of it’?”

Unlike Google’s free, open-source Android OS, Microsoft requires a licensing fee for the use of Windows Phone. There’s also much less opportunity to tinker with and modify the OS outside of preinstalled apps. At the same time, Perron realizes a more diverse platform lineup could be a smart business move for Sony.

“We enjoy very much a good collaboration with Google, we’ve been working with them for a long time and have a level of maturity with that discussion, that’s good. But at the same time, Google has a relationship with direct competitors.”

So while Google is easy to work with, Perron realizes just how many other manufacturers are making Android phones, and how crowded the market is. He didn’t confirm whether any Windows Phone devices are in the pipeline, saying only that the company’s talks with Microsoft are still tentative at this point.

Still, Perron added, “We don’t want to be a single OS manufacturer, I don’t think it’s a viable position in the long term.”

  1. They could try one of the “brand-new” OSes too, wouldn’t be bad either. Sure, it’s a risk, but sometimes you got to take risks

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  2. And Microsoft, having bought Nokia which has about 92% market share of Windows Phone, is a direct competitor so I fail to see Sony’s point.

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    1. John Kneeland Sunday, January 12, 2014

      Microsoft has much more to gain from Sony making Windows Phones than Google does, so they are likelier to get some form of special treatment from Microsoft for doing so.

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