Samsung is reportedly considering a move to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, at least for its lower cost handsets. Part of the reason Samsung might make the switch from Android to Windows Phone in the entry-level space is because it determined that Windows Phone 8.1 is a stable platform, a determination it came to after running a pilot program.
However, there are some bigger motivating factors at play. If you recall, Samsung has been in the headlines lately because of a restructuring effort prompted by disappointing sales figures attributed to its flagship Galaxy S5 device. After unexpectedly being left with excess Galaxy S5 inventory, Samsung decided to shake things up by firing three high level executives, which also served as a warning to company chief J.K. Shin that he's on borrowed time if he doesn't turn things around.
By testing the waters with Windows Phone 8.1, Samsung would give itself an opportunity to offer something fresh as opposed to yet another Android handset. It's a bit of a gamble to go that route, which is probably why Samsung is only looking at making the switch in the entry-level category.
The other reason Samsung might consider Microsoft's platform is because it wants to be less reliant on Android as a whole. Samsung has never been shy about making that fact known, though it's usually the company's own Tizen platform (jointly developed with Intel) that takes some of the focus away from Android. Unfortunately for Samsung, developers aren't embracing Tizen in the handset space the way the company hoped, so the company is instead making a run at smart TVs with its OS.
That leaves Windows Phone as the only other viable platform, and Samsung appears ready to test the waters, provided it can come to terms with Microsoft over an ongoing dispute over royalties.
"If the companies settle their litigation, then Samsung will manufacture handsets powered by the Microsoft-developed mobile platform," an official directly involved with the plans said, according to The Korea Times. "The timing could be the third quarter of this year at the earliest."