If you have to go, you might as well go out with a bang. Nokia made waves and ruffles feathers on Monday morning when it unveiled not one but three new smartphones that are powered by Google’s Android operating system. The mobile software on the Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL is barely recognizable as Android, with a heavily modified tile-based user interface that resembles Windows Phone. But if you ask executives at Microsoft, they’ll tell you… it’s Android.
Microsoft and Nokia are set to complete a deal next month that will see Nokia’s devices and services business transferred over to Microsoft for about $5 billion. Microsoft will also pay another $2.2 billion license Nokia’s many related patents for the next 10 years.
When Microsoft finally does take ownership of Nokia’s smartphone business, it will have three new Android phones on its hands in addition to the many Windows Phones and Asha phones Nokia sells. As noted in a post on Business Insider, Microsoft’s mobile boss Joe Belfiore wasn’t exactly shy in revealing that his company is not happy about Nokia’s move to launch Android phones.
“They’ll do some things we’re excited about, and some things we’re less excited about,” Belfiore told reporters after a press conference on Saturday when asked about Nokia’s Android phones, which hadn’t yet been unveiled at the time.
A comment like that might seem innocuous, but it speaks volumes when uttered by a top Microsoft executive in a room full of reporters.
For more on Nokia’s new Android phones, check out our earlier coverage.