Join 200,000+ other SprintUsers for free at the #1 online community for Sprint cell phone customers! Win cool prizes in our weekly contests. Talk about the newest phones or post your question in our forums! Become a premium member and get unlimited Focus Uploads to your Sprint phone.

All visitors must register before they can post questions, contact other members or search our database of over 127,000 threads and 1.7 million posts. So what are you waiting for? Register for free today!

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-31-2015, 02:10 AM   #1
Satellite Phone User
SLME's Avatar
Mood: Happy
Join Date: Sep 18, '05
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 13,681
Phone: Nexus 6
Trades: 11
Thanks: 203
Thanked 371 Times in 309 Posts
My Mood: Happy
SU$: 57,653
Microsoft to Invest in Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen...

Microsoft is investing in a hot startup that’s trying to weaken Google ’s hold over Android.

People familiar with the matter say Microsoft is putting money into Cyanogen, which is building a version of the Android mobile-operating system outside of Google’s auspices.

Microsoft would be a minority investor in a roughly $70 million round of equity financing that values Cyanogen in the high hundreds of millions, one of the people said. The person said the financing round could grow with other strategic investors that have expressed interest in Cyanogen because they’re also eager to diminish Google’s control over Android. The identity of the other potential investors couldn’t be learned.

Spokespeople for Microsoft and Cyanogen declined to comment.

The investment would be unusual, because Microsoft offers its own Windows Phone mobile operating system. But Windows Phone has only about 3% market share, which may be prompting Microsoft to consider unconventional steps.

Android was intended as an “open source” operating system that hardware makers can deploy in their devices for free. Yet Google has frustrated manufacturers in recent years by requiring them to feature Google apps and set Google search as the default for users, in exchange for access to the search engine, YouTube, or the millions of apps in its Play Store.

Such restrictions make it harder for apps that compete with Google’s to win distribution on Android devices. For Microsoft, that means less exposure for its Bing search engine, which is up against Google search. It also could limit growth of other Microsoft software products.

Cyanogen offers an alternate version of the Android mobile operating system free of such restrictions. The 80-person company claims to have a volunteer army of 9,000 software developers working on its own version of Android.

“We’re going to take Android away from Google,” said Kirt McMaster, Cyanogen’s chief executive, in a brief interview last week. The next day, at an industry event sponsored by tech news service The Information, McMaster said Cyanogen had raised $100 million to date. Previously the company had disclosed that it raised $30 million of funding. The company spokeswoman declined to make McMaster available for this story.

McMaster said more than 50 million people use a version of the Cyanogen Android operating system, most of whom have installed it in place of their phone’s initial operating system.

To spread adoption more quickly, Cyanogen is working on deals with hardware makers to install the software on their devices. It recently signed a deal with Indian smartphone maker Micromax to ship handsets with Cyanogen’s software and is close to announcing more such deals, say people familiar with the matter.

A third mobile ecosystem as an alternative to rivals Google and Apple could help Microsoft better distribute its apps and services on smartphones.

“Cyanogen may have a greater chance than Microsoft to build a third ecosystem for mobile,” says Rajeev Chand, managing director at Rutberg & Co., an investment bank focused on the mobile industry.

Independent versions of the Android operating system are already popular, particularly in China where Google has struggled to enter the market. In total, these other versions represented 37% of Android shipments world-wide in the third quarter, according to Strategy Analytics.

Smartphone makers and wireless carriers are looking for a standard bearer to offset Google’s growing market power, Chand says.

Prior investors in Cyanogen included Benchmark Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Chinese social-networking giant Tencent. New venture capital investors are expected to join the strategic corporate investors in this latest round of funding.
SU is slowly dying, and soon all things must come to an end.
SLME is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to SLME For This Useful Post:
YPG (01-31-2015)
Go Back > The SU Lounge > The Tech News Desk > Microsoft to Invest in Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen...


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Microsoft pulls out of, sells stake to NBC DJRider The Tech News Desk 4 07-19-2012 01:21 AM
HTC to pay royalties to Microsoft after being told Android steps on its patents Andre HTC 11 04-30-2010 06:30 AM
Android passes iPhone in U.S. traffic Andre Android (Google) Based Phones 11 04-27-2010 10:07 PM
Android and Netflix da.bell Android (Google) Based Phones 1 04-09-2010 06:17 PM
Choosing Android 11111 Android (Google) Based Phones 42 01-22-2010 12:11 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:09 AM.

- is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sprint PCS -