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Microsoft might be interested in acquiring the most popular custom Android build ever

Published Aug 29th, 2014 6:20PM EDT
Cyanogen Microsoft, Samsung and Amazon

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Many Android users unhappy with what the mobile operating system has to offer have looked at various custom ROMs based on Google’s latest OS version that offered additional tools to improve their overall mobile experience. CyanogenMod is one such Android-based build that become so popular in recent years that its founder decided to turn it into a business, Cyanogen Inc. That company is apparently now tracked by various tech industry giants that are highly interested in the mobile business, The Information has learned, including Microsoft.

In addition to Microsoft, whose CEO Satya Nadella actually had a sit down with Cyanogen, Amazon, Samsung and Yahoo are also monitoring Cyanogen “to see whether it becomes a potential partner or acquisition target.”

While it’s clear why Amazon and Samsung, and even Yahoo, might be interested in acquiring Cyanogen in the future, the more interesting detail in the report is the fact that Microsoft is actually seen some potential in Cyanogen.

That’s not to say Microsoft is ready to give Android a second try in the future, as the company may simply be interested in the talent behind Cyanogen, rather than the actual Android-based product.

As for Cyanogen, the company has only recently hired execs from Electronic Arts and Facebook, and it’s currently looking for a “big” Series C funding round.

Ironically, Cyanogen is not necessarily with Google’s vision of Android, as it is now. “Everyone in the world wants an open Android, CEO Kirt McMaster told Re/code last week. “They want to get outside of Google’s tyranny, if you will.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.