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Microsoft is reportedly investing in Cyanogen's custom Android mod

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Now here's something we've never expected to write: Microsoft is investing in Android -- well, sort of. The software giant is reportedly planning to become a minority investor in Cyanogen, best known for its customized version of Android, according to the Wall Street Journal. Neither company is talking about the deal, naturally, and we still don't know how big Microsoft's investment may be. Bloomberg reports that the two companies are in negotiations to create a version of Cyanogen's image that features Microsoft's services (similar to what Nokia did with its X series, which Microsoft killed off). The report comes only a few months after Cyanogen refused a Google buyout offer, supposedly because it wants to keep the dream of a truly open version of Android alive. The more likely reason? Cyanogen will probably end up being worth a lot more after additional investments than what Google was willing to pay.

Sure, Microsoft's got Windows Phone already, but that platform isn't exactly exploding. And even though it's an off-shoot of Android, there are already more than 50 million people using Cyanogen. That number could rise significantly as it gets even easier to install (the company's already offering desktop and mobile apps to simplify the process). Cyanogen also has plenty of potential for phone makers -- it was one of the more compelling features of the OnePlus One (though their relationship isn't going so well these days).

[Photo credit: opopododo/Flickr]

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