HTC surprised everyone when they released the HTC HD2 late last year. The HD2 is nothing short of the best Windows Mobile phone on the market now, and probably will be for some time (particularly given that HTC are pretty much the only company investing in innovative Windows Mobile phones at the moment).
The surprise is that HTC actually bothered to make a phone this good. Given their expertise with Google’s Android, their obvious close relationship with the search engine giant (just look at the Nexus One, which Google designed and HTC built), and the critical success they received with the HTC Hero (another Android device), why bother developing such a great phone as the HD2 on such a dog of a platform as Windows Mobile?
Step forward an intriguing theory…!
Picture the scene at Microsoft:
Steve Balmer, aware of how fast Android is taking over, decided to fight back, so he goes to see the Win-Mob hardware partner of choice (HTC) and tells them he wants a flagship phone that kicks the ass of all others – even any Android phones that may soon arrive (like the Nexus One)
HTC dutifully respond – as they should, since without Windows Mobile, their company wouldn’t even be strong enough to adopt the likes of Android. And lo!, up pops the HD2 fully reworked by HTC to blow everything else out of the water (until certain happy hackers put Android on it!!)
Steve Balmer is handed the phone at the launch event and looks very happy. The Windows Mobile ship is still afloat (for now) and HTC have another great phone to show off.
There’s a real sense of how Microsoft used their leverage (or how Steve Blamer threw his toys out of the pram!) to make sure HTC got this phone ready for them and not for Android.
Don’t get me wrong, the Nexus One is seriously cool, but imagine a HD2 running Android 2.1.
Fortunately, it won’t be too long – already, Linux has been ported to the HD2, and once it’s stable, Android fits on top like a glove. Expect some tasty screenshots of modded HD2s with Android 2.1 on them real soon.
(Props to @Terminal7)