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Microsoft Partners with Movial To Bring Android to Surface

Microsoft is adding more Android expertise to its in-house engineering teams via a deal with Movial, a software engineering and design services company based in Helsinki, Finland.

According to reports this week, Microsoft is recruiting Movial's Romanian operations to develop an Android-based operating system for the Microsoft Devices business segment, which oversees the building of Surface PCs and other Microsoft hardware devices. About 60 Movial employees will join the Microsoft Devices business segment under the deal, according to a SeeNews account.

Movial's office in lasi, Romania will become a Microsoft research and development center as well, the SeeNews account explained. Neither Microsoft nor Movial published an announcement describing the deal, although Microsoft confirmed to the press that it had hired Movial employees.

Press accounts have suggested that Microsoft isn't buying Helsinki, Finland-based Movial, a private company with offices in lasi, Taipei, Redwood City, Calif. and Seattle. Instead, they suggested that Movial previously worked with Microsoft on developing an Android-based operating system for the Surface Duo device. With the Movial deal, Microsoft is now bringing those Android development efforts in house, they indicated.

According to an AndroidCentral story by Zac Bowden, Microsoft bought Movial's local development support in "Romania, Taiwan and the USA" to work full time on the Surface Duo. He cited a Movial spokesperson as indicating that "Movial will continue operating as an independent company going forward."

The notion that Movial employees are working on an Android OS for the Surface Duo, with its foldable screens, just comes from press accounts. Microsoft had introduced the Surface Duo back in October as a pocket-size device for making phone calls. It was said to run using the new Windows 10X operating system that was "building upon Android."

In May of this year, Microsoft announced a turnabout with Windows 10X, indicating that it was now building the OS for single-screen devices first, with a possibility of entering the dual-screen market at a later time.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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