Cyanogen OS is an operating system for mobile devices that’s based on Google Android… but the makers of Cyanogen OS have been pretty vocal about plans to reduce their reliance on Google’s apps.
Now the company has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft, which means future versions of the Android-based operating system could feature tight integration with Microsoft’s search, communication, and office apps, among other things.
Earlier this year there had been rumors making the rounds that Microsoft would be investing in Cyanogen Inc. But when the company announce it had raised $80 million in funding in March, Microsoft was not one of the companies named.
But apparently the companies were having conversations about working together.
According to the announcement, Microsoft’s Bing services, Skype communication software, OneDrive cloud storage service, OneNote, Outlook, and Office software will be integrated with Cyanogen OS.
There’s no mention of any of those apps replacing their Google equivalents… at least not yet. But Cyanogen Inc eventually plans to launch its own app store and when that happens, don’t be surprised if the company drops the Google Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, and other software altogether.
The move also makes a lot of sense for Microsoft: While the company would clearly like it if you’d buy a Windows Phone, the company’s mobile platform has a relatively tiny share of the smartphone market. So Microsoft has also been going to where the customers are by offering Android and iOS versions of many apps, as well as some software designed specifically for those platforms.
Partnerships with companies like Cyanogen could get get Microsoft’s apps and services into the hands of people who might not otherwise download them… if the whole partnership doesn’t turn people off from the idea of using Cyanogen OS in the first place.
Update: Android Central reports that users will be able to uninstall the Microsoft apps that will come pre-loaded in Cyanogen OS.
Cyanogen should just make their OS able to be bundled with any kind of app. I would love to have Google Now and Cortana on the same device
“Wow, Bing on a Droid, that sounds amazing”.. Said absolutely nobody, ever.
Cyanogen playing with Micro$oft is like a baby playing with a cobra. Similar to playing with Google; which Cyanogen refused to do. Go figure.
How is putting Microsoft apps on your android phone an improvement in any way over using Google apps?
It’s not but it makes it easier to free up the makers of Cyanogen OS to break away from Google’s strict control (Google uses their proprietary apps and services to impose a level of control over the Android market, like needing to comply with their rules, that they could change on a whim, in order to be able to install and use their apps and services)… and you can always uninstall them if you don’t want to use them without needing to do anything special…
Those Cyanoguys have a partnership with M$ ???
Goodbye Cyanogen. 🙁
What’ the point? I thought it was to get away from the “corporate” ecosystem.
It’s about control and options, Google’s apps and services are proprietary and using
them means developers/OEMs have to obey Google’s rules (this is one of
the reasons why most OEMs had to drop plans for dual booting devices
because both Google added it to the prohibited list, among other examples of Google
strong arming the market)… So this helps the makers of Cyanogen OS
have more control without restricting themselves to the rules required
to use the Google apps and services…
While, as the article states in the update… Users can uninstall the MS apps if they don’t want them… So they’re not trading one lock in for another and leaving end users options… The idea is basically not cripple the OS while providing an alternative, which is one of the reasons that so far only Amazon has succeeded in completely separating from Google’s control and still succeed in the market… While you probably never heard of the other attempts at breaking away from Google by other projects over the years…
Though, they keep on trying… some breaking away from Android altogether with projects like Tizen, Ubuntu Touch, etc. but despite those being backed by companies its really hard to succeed…
This would seem to be a win-win for both companies. Cyanogen needs the deep pockets and greater market exposure, Microsoft needs a platform to get its products into more hands. While I am sure Microsoft would prefer to do it with their own phone OS, at the end of the day they really just need to get people using their services. I would miss Google Maps but most of the rest of Google services are replacable. Sideloading an app or two to fill out my needs wouldn’t be a heartship for me (assuming it is allowed). If Microsoft is smart they will (for a while) limit Cortana to Cyanogen phones as an extra selling point over regular Android.
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