Windows 8 on an Amazon Phone?

Yes you did read that right.

The same rumor mill that brought you the whole Amazon phone story has now chocked up a new rumor, about amazon using Windows 8 on their phones. Some people may be surprised because Amazon just doesn’t seem like one to use someone else’s operating system, and I agree with that for the most part.

I don’t think Amazon would normally be one to use a common operating system, but when I thought about it, I realized Amazon did use Android for the Kindle Fire, it’s just heavily skinned to look more like Android is Amazon’s proprietary operating system. Maybe that’s what they’ll do to Windows 8.

I’ve tried skinning Windows before and it’s not not as easy to skin as an operating system like Android that’s open source.

Unless you actually get your hands on the Windows source code, you’ll need to run a skinning program, which brings many problems of its own. Skinning programs (such as Windows Blinds) take up a lot of memory and their fair share of processing power to run.

This slows down the speed of the phone considerably, I know, I tried out Windows Blinds on my netbook that had a 1.7 GHz processor and 1 gigabyte (GB) of memory and Windows Blinds still slowed it down incredibly.

Now imagine running a skinning program like that on a phone that runs the same exact operating system as my netbook did. That would just be torturous to use.

If Amazon could get its hands on some Windows 8 source code, they wouldn’t need to use a skinning program, but Windows source code is almost impossible to get, and is definitely impossible to get legally.

I don’t think Microsoft would be happy at all if Amazon edited its source code for their phones. The last time Windows source code was made available to the public, Microsoft went ballistic.

The code was for Windows 2000 and NT 4.0 and it was leaked in 2004 so it wasn’t like the hackers were damaging Microsoft that much. (Just because it didn’t hurt them that much doesn’t make what the hackers did right.)

The only other option that I see for Amazon is to get someone from Microsoft to legally skin Windows 8 for Amazon, and that option doesn’t seem all that likely either.

I’ve also been wondering why Amazon doesn’t just use a version of Windows Phone 7. It would incorporate the phone part a lot better than Windows 8 and it would probably be a lot easier to play with and customize than Windows 8. Well that’s just my opinion.

Anyway, here are the reasons that have been stated by certain people for Amazon to be making a phone. An analyst from Citigroup named Mark Mahaney wrote a report on Amazon’s Asian supply sources and confirmed that Amazon will release a “Kindle Phone” sometime in 2012.

In the report Mahaney wrote, “With the clear success of the Kindle e-Reader over the past 3 years, and Kindle Fire possibly succeeding in the low-priced Tablet market, we view this as the next logical step for Amazon.”

Kevin Chang Citigroup’s hardware research analyst said “channel checks have led him to believe that the Amazon phone might run on a ‘Microsoft operating system.'”

Mahaney didn’t actually confirm the prediction, but “suggests the likelihood by noting that if Amazon was using Google Android as its OS, it will probably need to pay Microsoft an ‘OS royalty’ as several leading manufacturers like Samsung and HTC are doing.” This basically backs up my reason from before.

So do I really think that Amazon will release an Amazon phone that runs Windows 8? No, not really. Do I even think that Amazon will release a Kindle Phone? I don’t think that it’s that likely, but it’s more likely that they will release a phone than they will put Windows 8 on it.

What do you think?

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