While CyanogenMod remains, for the moment, the godsend for Android modders, Cyanogen OS—which first became widely known on the original OnePlus One—is becoming more and more integrated with a variety of Microsoft services.
It started back in April of 2015, when Cyanogen, Inc. announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft:
“Under the partnership, Cyanogen will integrate and distribute Microsoft’s consumer apps and services across core categories, including productivity, messaging, utilities, and cloud-based services. As part of this collaboration, Microsoft will create native integrations on Cyanogen OS, enabling a powerful new class of experiences.”
In February of this year, Cyanogen announced their MOD platform—nothing to do whatsoever with the open source CyanogenMod, but instead a means for developers to hook their wares into Cyanogen OS. Now, a new version of CM OS has just been released, and Microsoft products and services are all over it.
From Android Police:
Skype integrates VOIP into the dialer app, along with Skype contacts clearly marked in the phone’s contacts app; OneNote integrates with the email and phone apps to enable you to take notes anywhere in the OS; the already-existing Cortana mod takes things further, allowing users to ‘take a selfie’ hands-free, while also expanding to the lockscreen; and Microsoft Hyperlapse means time lapse videos can be created easily in the camera app, or videos edited in the Gallery app.
So what exactly is the play here? The worldwide market share of Windows Phone is pegged at less than 1%, but there are far fewer devices than that currently running Cyanogen OS. Microsoft does make a handy $2 billion annual profit from Android through its patent protection racket, though, so a bigger investment in the world’s dominant smartphone OS only makes sense.
I expect that an full-out acquisition of Cyanogen, Inc. by Microsoft would be the next logical step. How that will impact CyanogenMod remains to be seen.