Microsoft is offering inexpensive or even free Windows Phone licenses to try to persuade HTC to once again sell phones using the operating system, Bloomberg reported Friday. And it looks like the proposal on the table is for shipping Windows Phone and Android on the same HTC phones.
HTC, the company that built the first Android phone and that now is touting its HTC One, sold Windows Phone models in the past. But it has no current plans to sell any more, the Bloomberg report said.
Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft's operating systems division, presented a proposal to HTC in September that offered to cut or even eliminate Windows Phone license fees, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources. Myerson is scheduled to discuss it further this month on a trip to Asia, the news service said.
It's not clear how the dual-OS approach would work. Technical details are being worked out, Bloomberg reported.
HTC and Microsoft declined to comment on the report.
One big sticking point in winning HTC over, no doubt, will be that Microsoft, by acquiring Nokia's mobile-phone business, aspires to become a direct competitor to HTC. However, Android maker Google already is one with its Motorola division.
Microsoft has struggled to overhaul its business for a more mobile industry that's much broader than just PCs. Windows Phone hasn't caught on in the smartphone market compared with top dogs iOS and Android. And Windows 8, although optimized for tablets, alienated many by introducing a very different interface.
Microsoft is changing dramatically, however, by becoming a hardware company. Its first major effort was the Surface tablets, due to be replaced by second-generation Surface and Surface Pro models on October 22.
HTC is also having difficulties, though. With troubles delivering the HTC One and HTC One Mini, HTC reported a quarterly loss on Thursday, its first since it went public in 2002.
Updated at 3:16 a.m. PT and 7:11 p.m. PT with responses from HTC and Microsoft.