Looks like things are about to get real and about to get messy. At least as far as Google and Microsoft are concerned. It’s no secret that Microsoft is going to provide a way for Xiaomi Mi 4 owners to wipe Android off their device and install a preview of Windows 10 for phones instead. And while there a few caveats to that story, it does practically mean that Microsoft is trying to take a nibble out of Google’s pie in China. Now just a few weeks later, this video appears showing that exact setup, and the result might give Google reason to worry.
To be clear, Xiaomi isn’t going to start selling Windows 10 phones. Hugo Barra made that pretty clear that whatever Microsoft is cooking up, it’s doing on its own and in direct communication with Mi 4 owners. Xiaomi is merely providing the venue (the forums) for communication to take place. Xiaomi, Barra says, remains committed to the Android ecosystem. But that wouldn’t stop Microsoft from finding a way into Chinese smartphones.
Microsoft is said to be cooking up a ROM that can be installed on the Mi 4. Doing so, however, will completely erase Android, a procedure that might already be familiar to some Android power users and explorers. For actual fans of the Windows Phone platform, however, that might be worth taking the risk. Windows 10 as seen in the video below proves to be quite responsive on Xiaomi’s flagship, which is not exactly surprising given how capable the hardware is. Of course, it’s still an early preview and still has traces of Windows Phone 8.1, like Internet Explorer, for example. Missing in the brief demo is Cortana, which has a special localized version in China.
Although it could hardly affect Google’s Android, this might not bode well for the platform in the long run. Although it would still be ideal for Microsoft to sell devices that come with Windows 10 directly, this might be the second best thing. A Windows 10 ROM that users can install on their Android phones could considerably expand Microsoft’s software ecosystem in places its hardware might not be able to reach. After-market Android ROMs barely make a dent in Google’s throne, but an after-market Windows 10 ROM could prove to be threatening. And if this video is any proof, Microsoft seems capable of pulling it off and doing it well.
SOURCE: Windows Blog Italia