Evidence is mounting that Nokia is actively developing a smartphone based on the Android OS, and Microsoft may not stand in the way once it takes control of Nokia's handset business.
The smartphone maker has been rumored for some time to be working on an Android handset project codenamed Normandy. Purported leaked photos of prototype devices were published last month.
According to the reports, Nokia plans to launch Normandy some time in 2014. But it is currently unclear whether this means it will happen before Microsoft takes control of Nokia's handset business early next year, in the culmination of its $7.4 billion takeover bid.
But if not, it's possible Microsoft could proceed with the launch anyway. The reports state that Normandy will use a heavily forked version of Android, which means Google services could be replaced with the Microsoft equivalents.
“That is seen by some at Microsoft as a more palatable alternative than watching more of those first-time smartphone buyers sign up not just for Android but also for Google’s array of services,” All Things D's Ina Fried wrote.