Windows Phone 8.1 Can Be Added To Existing Android Devices

    February 26, 2014
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

UPDATE: As readers have pointed out in the comments below, the announcement of Windows Phone 8.1 adding support for Snapdragon 200, 400 and 400 LTE Android handsets is only for OEMs. I mistakenly assumed that Microsoft would be releasing Windows Phone 8.1 to consumers to flash to their own devices. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Original story below:

Windows Phone, like iOS, is only available on select hardware. While Microsoft has licensed out Windows Phone to third-party OEMs, they have had to stick with restrictive hardware designs. With Windows 8.1, it’s getting a little less restrictive.

At Mobile World Congress, Microsoft announced that Windows 8.1 will support more hardware in the future. That means Android device manufacturers can load Windows Phone 8.1 onto their devices without having to change the hardware. Along with the announcement, Microsoft stated that it has added support for devices sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 200, 400 and 400 LTE chipsets.

Unfortunately, it looks like Microsoft doesn’t want you to have your cake and eat it too. It confirmed that dual-booting won’t be allowed so OEMs won’t be able to offer devices with both Android and Windows Phone. It’s a little unfortunate, but also understandable from Microsoft’s perspective as they hope those who try it out will want to stick with it.

With this news, it’s pretty obvious that Microsoft will be aggressively targeting Android users this year. Not only is it opening the Windows Phone platform to existing Android device manufacturers, but it’s also trying to bring Android users to Windows Phone through its new Nokia X platform.

Nokia X is a new line of smartphones that run a forked version of Android that strips out all things Google and adds Microsoft and Nokia services. It’s basically a version of Android that looks an awful lot like a Windows Phone and it’s intended for emerging markets.

As Microsoft continues to do well with Windows Phone in emerging markets, Nokia X and Windows Phone 8.1 may just help it steal some thunder away from Android. It probably won’t be much, but it’s growth and that’s all that really matters to Microsoft at this point.

[h/t: PC Mag] Image via Nokia

  • neonspark

    WP 8.1 supports snapdragon 800. See Lumia icon and Lumia 1520.

    • Divine Jakiro

      That is not WP8.1, it is just Lumia Black is part of WP8. Not 8.1

  • vkitty

    “It’s basically a version of Android that looks an awful lot like Android phone” – I am assuming you mean it looks an awful lot like Windows phone?

    • Guest

      these people dont even proof read what they write

  • jhtanglewood

    Whoa… You are really confused.

    I couldn’t make it through more than a few paragraphs. I can’t even begin to explain to you how many false statements you just made.

    Do you have any type of editor? You need one.

    Please re-read your ‘source’ and rewrite this article, for all of our sakes.

    • Mitchell Sheehan

      Harsh! Lol

    • Nham Thien Duong

      Welcom to the 21st century, where journalism is parroting and hoping that your consumers will see this before they’ll find YOUR source. (>_<)

  • John

    They added support for the snapdragon 200, 400, and 400 LTE, not restricted support to them.

  • Nham Thien Duong

    The Nokia XSeries seem very hostile… no idea why, but I really hope that Microsoft will gain a lot of marketshare and O.E.M.-support from this move. :-)

  • Trevahaha

    “No more will those interested in Windows Phone have to buy Windows Phone hardware” Zach: this is a super misleading article. The idea is that OEMs will potentially be able to take existing hardware they’ve designed for Android and work with Microsoft to load Windows 8.1. Before they could not, because device hardware was strictly defined and required hardware buttons (Back, Start, Search). Now they’ve enabled soft-buttons, which provide greater flexibility.
    This is not allowing consumers to load Windows Phone 8.1 onto their personal devices. Microsoft has not announced releasing the code to consumers to allow this.

  • zachwalton25

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. I misread the original story and mistakenly assumed that Microsoft would be releasing the Windows Phone 8.1 source code for users to flash to their own devices. I see that is incorrect now and have made a note of it above while fixing the original story. I apologize for any confusion.

    • jhtanglewood

      Thank you for the correction, most blogger, journalist, or whatever would have simply ignored the faults in their article (if it wasn’t done intentionally). I see it all the time.

      Thank you for showing some integrity, its a rare thing on the internet and journalism these days in general.