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While it’s not quite the magic bullet for getting more Windows Phones into pockets, Microsoft has made an agreement with Indian OEM Karbonn Mobiles to bring dual-boot Android and Windows Phone handsets to market in the next few months.

Karbonn chairman Sudhir Hasija spoke with the Times of India and explained the new agreement.

“Microsoft has eased the regulations and is opening up its platform for other players. We signed the agreement two days ago and will launch a range of Windows phones in about three months,” he said, adding that the dual-boot devices will be targeted at “office going professionals and ‘techies.’” Hey! “Techies” are our target demographic too! But only the Best Techies. Anyway.

The Nokia X is a Windows-styled Android phone, and represents Microsoft's interest in Google's mobile OS.
The Nokia X is a Windows-styled Android phone, and could represent Microsoft’s interest in pursuing Google’s mobile OS.

This turn of events seems to jibe with recent reports that Microsoft was looking into bringing Android more closely into the fold. Last month, we’d heard that Microsoft was considering ways to get Android apps to run on Windows and Windows Phone platforms. Since then, Microsoft has named a new CEO, so the fact that this deal went through only a couple days ago would seem to signal that the company’s gone from considering such an arrangement to actually pursuing it. And, of course, Microsoft’s nearly-acquired in-house smartphone maker Nokia has just released the Nokia X line of Windows-styled Android phones.

But dual-boot? There are certainly ways that such a device could be good for someone who wants access to apps exclusive to each OS. But if you’ve booted in Android and want to use your Windows app, you’ll have to restart in the other OS, and vice versa. Unless there’s some kind of quick-switching method that will be detailed later, this sounds like more trouble than it’s worth.

Even still, a dual-boot phone like this could expose a whole new slew of users to the potential joys of a Windows Phone OS when all they’ve known is Android. If nothing else, it’ll act as something of a Trojan Horse for bringing more people into the Windows ecosystem. Hopefully this is just a step towards creating a Windows Phone that can actually run Android apps natively.

[Source: TheNextWeb, Times of India]

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