Microsoft is reportedly set to invest in popular Android ROM creator CyanogenMod as part of a $70 million investment round, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Though Android is a traditionally open OS when compared to something like Apple's iOS, Microsoft is said to be investing in CyanogenMod to get a leg up on what Google already offer customers.
CyanogenMod removes certain restrictions on Android by modifying its code, and Microsoft's involvement may allow it to push the software giant's apps (such as its Bing search engine) forwards on modified iterations of the operating system.
CyanogenMod claims there are 50 million people currently using its version of Android, and a further increase in adoption would serve to weeaken Google's position in the smartphone market.
Microsoft's Windows Phone only holds on to 3 per cent of the market, while Google's Android occupies around 80 per cent in comparison.
In a recent interview, CyanogenMod chief executive Kirt McMaster said: "We're going to take Android away from Google," and the company has already begun making deals with manufacturers.
According to Strategy Analytics (via WSJ), modified versions of the operating system represents 37 per cent of global Android shipments, making Microsoft's move to invest in CyanogenMod appear a smart one that could unseat Google from its position at the top of smartphone sales pile.
Recent figures revealed that Android shipments had broken their own record in 2014, surpassing 1 billion over the course of the year.
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Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.
You can get in touch with Caroline via email at email@example.com.