If you doubted that Microsoft backed Nokia's move into Android phones, doubt no more: Windows chief Terry Myerson says that Microsoft will continue to back them even after the Nokia acquisition goes through. Could this mean that more Microsoft Android devices are on the way?
In the second part of a wide-ranging interview with Mary Jo Foley, Myerson was asked about Nokia's line of Nokia X phones that run Android. Foley asked "Will you keep those around once the Nokia transaction is final?" His answer was an unequivocal yes:
"More users of our applications and services is fantastic. If someone is (using an iPad), I hope they really are using Office and OneDrive and Skype, on that iPad. That is a fantastic Microsoft customer. It's great for Microsoft. The same will be true of Nokia. I genuinely feel that way."
That makes clear that Microsoft is truly betting on its devices-and-service strategy, and it believes that revenue from its services are its future, possibly even more than Windows itself. After all, Myerson's job title has nothing to do with services -- he's head of operating systems for Microsoft. If he's a believer, then clearly it's the company's future.
Microsoft has done more with Android than allow Nokia to release Android phones. It's also allowing two Indian device makers to build dual-boot Android-Windows Phone handsets. And Huawei is said to be building such a device for the U.S. market.
So would Microsoft be willing to go even deeper into Android support? There are no current plans that I've heard of, but it wouldn't surprise me. There have been persistent rumors that Microsoft is considering enabling Android apps to run natively right inside Windows Phone and Windows. Myerson didn't shoot down the idea during his interview with Foley. (A non-Microsoft technology, BlueStacks, already allows this.)
For one more clue about whether Microsoft might be willing to focus more efforts on Android, take a look at Myerson's title: Executive Vice President of operating systems. The word "Windows" isn't in it.