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Inside Microsoft’s Android Battle Plan

Terry Myerson, who oversees Microsoft's Windows Phone software, in 2012. Credit: Microsoft
Terry Myerson, who oversees Microsoft's Windows Phone software, in 2012. Credit: Microsoft

Behind closed doors, Microsoft recently considered unconventional tactics to shrink the competitive gap between its Windows Phone software and Google’s Android, which powers the vast majority of smartphones in the world.

In one scenario, a smartphone buyer would be able to walk into a wireless carrier store, find a phone they like and only then choose whether they want Windows Phone or Android software to power it permanently, according to a confidential document produced by a potential Windows Phone partner for internal purposes. The document, which was reviewed by The Information, includes a record of a meeting between the potential partner and Microsoft.

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Microsoft also is counting on major carriers to better promote Windows Phone to consumers through things like live demonstrations of devices in their stores, according to the document produced by a potential Windows Phone partner. In addition to Vodafone, which has a presence around the world, Microsoft has touted its relationships with China Mobile, the No. 1 operator in China, and Telefonica, which has customers in Europe and in Central and South America.


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