There are many ways to go after a competitor, and Microsoft isn't storing all of its eggs in one basket. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the company that challenges Android with Windows Phone is investing in Cyanogen Inc.
Yes, we're talking about the same Cyanogen that was built around a custom ROM towards the end of 2013. Microsoft is reportedly a minority investor in a round of equity financing that accumulated roughly $70 million for the startup, during which investors have valued the company in the hundreds of millions. Counting this latest round of financing, Cyanogen Inc.
The phone that's causing all those headaches for OnePlus in India appears to be just a day away from launch. The Micromax Yu will be available only from Amazon, and it will apparently be somehow divine. I mean, look at that halo. Truly this is the Zeus of phones... wait, what?
The dust has barely settled after the bombshell announcement that Cyanogen Inc. quietly signed an exclusive deal with OEM Micromax in India. That left the OnePlus One with an uncertain future in India without a software partner, and now things are getting even worse. The OnePlus One has been banned in India after legal action by Micromax.
It's been a long and winding road to find the truth behind the recent announcement that Cyanogen Inc. had signed an exclusive deal with Micromax in India. OnePlus made waves when it said that meant there would be no CM updates for the OnePlus One sold in India, but Cyanogen Inc. made a blog post saying all global devices would get updates, and all was well. Except it isn't. A new post on the Cyanogen blog expands on the situation. Specifically, it states plainly that Indian phones won't get updates.
Update: OnePlus claims the Indian version of the OnePlus One will ship with CyanogenMod. However, OnePlus plans to eventually shift as many Indian OPO owners as possible to the company's own Android ROM early next year, though the OPO will continue to receive worldwide support from CyanogenMod for the time being.
Update 2: Cyanogen Inc. has clarified how updates will work. If a device is shipped with CM, it gets updates even if it's sold in India. It seems like OnePlus might have jumped the gun a little. While there is a deal with Micromax in India, it does not preclude Cyanogen from updating OnePlus units.
Using multiple devices is still very clunky, even with synchronization features like those offered by Google. A startup called Nextbit is looking to change that with a product called Baton. The goal is to make switching from one device to another completely seamless, and it's coming to CyanogenMod soon as a private beta.
In the seemingly never-ending saga of companies believing that, despite generating no real revenue, they're worth some multiple of an Instagram, Cyanogen Inc. is reportedly seeking additional funding on the basis of a $1 billion valuation. This apparently comes on the heels of talks with Google's Sundar Pichai, who expressed interest in acquiring Cyanogen, presumably to become part of Google's Android group.
Cyanogen has allegedly been using this offer as a form of leverage in negotiations for funding, which of course they have, because who wouldn't use that as a way to convince investors your not-profitable company is worth throwing large sums of money at?
Cyanogen, the corporate arm of the popular CyanogenMod custom ROM, is on a roll. After a few high-profile hires from the world of aftermarket Android ROMs earlierthisyear, the company is after some more conventional hires for its leadership team, dipping their toes into the pool of corporate technology. This week they welcome Tyler Carper, formerly of HTC, Vikram Natarajan, formerly of OEM parts manufacturer MediaTek, and Dave Herman, formerly of Microsoft, Amazon, and Hulu, as new vice presidents.
From left: Tyler Carper, formerly of HTC and Microsoft, Vikram Natarajan, formerly of MediaTek and Broadcom, and Dave Herman, formerly of Amazon and Microsoft.
Last year, Samsung got into some hot water for including an automatic "high power mode" for certain apps, dialing up the processor and GPU scaling. There's nothing wrong with that in theory, but these changes were enabled specifically for benchmark apps, giving the benchmarks results that, while not technically incorrect, were artificially inflated and unlikely to be indicative of everyday performance.
After all the teasing and big talk, the OnePlus One has been officially announced. Some of what wasn't revealed by the company in the lead up to the unveiling was leaked a few days ago, but now we've got all the details. This device is clearly going after the Nexus category of devices with a low price and solid feature set. Oh, and it has CyanogenMod.