Even if Microsoft doesn't preload the Google Play store on Normandy, Nokia's app store will attract many developers. It's much easier to convince developers to list their unmodified apps on another Android app store than to pay the same developer to port their apps to run on Windows Phone. The Nokia store could even surpass the Windows Phone app store's total app count, making Normandy an attractive consumer choice compared to a Windows Phone. If Nokia chose to fork the latest Android version, KitKat 4.4, it would solve the problem of OS disparity on Nokia's high- and low-end devices because KitKat is easily optimized for inexpensive devices with slower processors and runs just as well on more powerful smartphones.
As a mobile hardware company, Microsoft can only aspire to struggle for growth and profitability like other great device designers and hardware producers, such as HTC, without making a dent in the mobile ecosystem. Microsoft doesn't have to control the consumer device OS market as it did in the PC growth era. It does, however, need a significant share of consumers to spend a significant share of their digital lives in Microsoft's mobile ecosystem if it wants to be a relevant mobile company.
Source: Network World
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