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Microsoft reportedly plans to invest in Cyanogen: what could this mean for Android?

Microsoft is reportedly investing in Cyanogen Inc., the developer of one of Android's most popular custom ROMs. If confirmed, Microsoft would form part of a 70 million USD investment group. The move would see Microsoft - a major rival of Google - become a minority investor in the open-source OS developer, which currently accounts for around 50 million Android users.

AndroidPIT Nexus5 CyanogenMod Boot new format
Is Microsoft partnering with Cyanogen? / © ANDROIDPIT

The news, via The Wall Street Journal, may come as a surprise to some, as Microsoft already has its own Windows Phone platform. Cyanogen currently only develops software based on Android.

"We're attempting to take Android away from Google," Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster said in a recent interview. This notion, coupled with speculation of Microsoft's interest, could have a major impact on the Android ecosystem. 

Cyanogen made a name for itself largely thanks to its CyanogenMod ROM, which offers a rebuilt version of Android free of Google-imposed restrictions. It was also the OS of choice for the popular OnePlus One flagship from 2014. 

A reported 1 billion Android smartphones were shipped in 2014 alone, proving Android's immense popularity and growth. This growth is likely to have a roll-on effect for Cyanogen, meaning an investment in the startup a safe bet. With Microsoft yet to hit big with its Windows Phone platform, an investment in a successful OS like CyanogenMod would make sense.  

What do you think of Microsoft's plans? Is this bad news for CyanogenMod? Let us know in the comments below.


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  • CJ Brown Mar 28, 2015 Link to comment

    A) Money talks (and Cyanogen wants money)
    B) Microsoft wants help (and will to pay for it)
    C) Consumers win (or lose) with more choices
    D) Open Source good (for most)

  • 8
    Yanwyn Feb 20, 2015 Link to comment

    Cyanogen seem to have more respect for Android as an open source project than Google, so more power to them! Though I would of preferred they accomplish their goals without Microsoft, who I distrust about as much as Google.

  • I hope this isn't true
    I like cyanogenmod a lot but what's the point of Microsoft buying it?

  • Can you say Monopoly

  • Interesting. I would say it's no threat, because Microsoft is now doing a lot to convert its products into open source and support open source

  • Reg Joo Jan 31, 2015 Link to comment

    I feel a fox in the henhouse, or, "you dirty rat" .

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