Emerging Technology

Nokia worked on Android Lumia and Microsoft looked at Surface smartphones before takeover

Andrew Sadauskas /

Nokia was trying to get Android working on its Lumia smartphones, while Microsoft was secretly developing its own smartphone, before Microsoft’s recent takeover of Nokia’s hardware division.

Late last week, the New York Times reported the Finnish smartphone giant had a team devoted to getting Android working on the company’s Lumia smartphones, which run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 or 8 by default.

It has since emerged that the company was also running two separate research projects, one codenamed AOL and the second codenamed MView, which began as Nokia became increasingly frustrated with Microsoft’s low-end smartphone efforts.

AOL stood for Asha on Linux, and was aimed at developing an alternative, low-end Linux-based operating system for its low-end Asha smartphones.

The second project, codenamed MView after Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, was aimed at creating a low-end smartphone using Google’s Android operating system.

Meanwhile, back in March, SmartCompany reported Nokia’s filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission warned of the possibility that Microsoft was working on its own smartphone.

“Microsoft may make strategic decisions or changes that may be detrimental to us. For example, in addition to the Surface tablet, Microsoft may broaden its strategy to sell other mobile devices under its own brand, including smartphones,” the filing stated.

“This could lead Microsoft to focus more on their own devices and less on mobile devices of other manufacturers that operate on the Windows Phone platform, including Nokia.”

According to reports, the fears were well-founded, with sources within Microsoft claiming the company was experimenting with its own smartphone concepts at the time.

Earlier this month, Microsoft purchased the mobile assets of Nokia, along with a licence to use its patents, for $US7.2 billion.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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