There is this very interesting article on VentureBeat that sets out what would happen should Microsoft – not Samsung – choose to fork Android. A fork is a distinct and independent piece of software created from a copy of source code from an existing software. Because Android is open source, it is open to forking and has been forked in the past.
The VentureBeat article opens dramatically:
With the constant talk of Samsung pulling an Amazon and someday forking Android, it is frankly hard to imagine a compelling Samsung device that is missing Google Search, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Maps, and YouTube.
However, the one company that could ironically provide the most compelling fork of Android is Microsoft.
The argument is difficult to fault. In fact, it is a very appealing one. Perhaps Microsoft should give it a try. Here is what I’d love to see Microsoft do:
- fork Android OS – Windroid? I vote for “Windrows”
- replace all Google apps/services with its own equivalent: Outlook, Bing, IE, etc
- keep the Windows Phone user interface, or a modified form of it
- install one of the thriving 3rd party Android app stores to give users access to the legion of Android apps
Windroid: What if Microsoft forked Android?