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In MASSIVE surprise, world+dog discovers Nokia checked out Android

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Reports have emerged over the weekend that Nokia had run up research lab versions of its Lumia phones running Android, and that this was somehow linked to Microsoft's decision to finesse the Finns.

Kicking off the clickfest was the New York Times with this post that offered the following analysis:

A team within Nokia had Android up and running on the company’s Lumia handsets well before Microsoft and Nokia began negotiating Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone and services business, according to two people briefed on the effort who declined to be identified because the project was confidential. Microsoft executives were aware of the existence of the project, these people said.

“Getting Android to run on Nokia’s hardware was not a Herculean engineering effort, according to the people familiar with the project,” the NYT continues.

Indeed not. Without knowing the fine details of any such “project”, such as which particular handsets might have been targeted for the “secret” project, The Register notes that the Lumia handsets current earlier this year run the same industry-standard processors (Qualcomm Snapdragon) as a great many other Android phones. Qualcomm – like any processor vendor – even ships a software development kit and other tools to help vendors get things going.

For a company like Nokia NOT to have a phone capable of running Android would be more surprising than efforts to get one going in the lab. Indeed, it would probably be a dereliction of duty to ignore Android, as doing so would mean it had no contingency plans in place for the 2014 expiration of its contract with Microsoft.

It's also not hard to find evidence that makers, hackers and experimenters began working on “Android on Nokia” projects long before Nokia and Microsoft began their takeover talks. This one, for example, spawned this demo video recorded in February 2012 (below). ®

Watch Video

Why wouldn't Nokia try to do what anyone can do? ®

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