Despite purchasing Nokia's Devices and Services unit last month, effectively making themselves the biggest Windows Phone manufacturer, Microsoft still wants other OEMs to produce Windows Phone handsets. According to a report from Bloomberg, the company has asked HTC to produce a device, potentially based on current hardware, that dual-boots Android and Windows Phone.
Microsoft reportedly offered to reduce or eliminate Windows Phone licensing fees to make the device a reality, and executive Terry Myerson is headed to Taiwan to meet with HTC over the proposal. Android Central reports that HTC has been looking into the engineering costs associated with making a dual-booting Android/Windows Phone, although it's unclear how far the project has progressed.
HTC, struggling to turn a profit and compete with larger Android OEMs such as Samsung, has no current plans to produce new Windows Phones. A dual-booting option would certainly be an interesting proposition, but it's questionable whether it's actually something consumers would want over a standalone Android or Windows Phone device.
Although Microsoft has been trying hard to push Windows Phone as a serious alternative to Android and iOS, the mobile operating system only commands 3.7 percent of the smartphone market. It would be unusual for them to explore options aside from standalone Windows Phone devices, but if OEMs aren't willing to play ball, it might be the only way to expose customers to their OS.