Today, Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft will make an investment in, the Android ROM developer company, Cyanogen Inc. The Redmond giant is expected to become a minority investor in a $70 million round of equity financing.
The latest round of funding is said to value Cyanogen Inc. in the high hundreds of millions. Spokespeople from both Microsoft and Cyanogen Inc. declined to comment on the matter.
Cyanogen made quite a splash a few days ago when the company's CEO Kirt McMaster told an audience in San Francisco that the company wants to take Android away from Google. The ambitious startup plans to create a version of Android, which isn't dependent on Google Play apps and services.
Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster outlined a combative take about Google and its control over the Android operating system, and a defiant vision for Cyanogen to build an Android operating system without Google being in the picture.
McMaster started his talk with, "I'm the CEO of Cyanogen. We're attempting to take Android away from Google."
He further explained that Cyanogen is developing a version of Android which would be open at every level. Something that other developers and partners could utilize to create their own tightly integrated services. Think of stuff that would be able to compete with Google Now, and that paints a broad picture.
"We're making a version of Android that is more open so we can integrate with more partners so their servicers can be tier one services, so startups working on [artificial intelligence] or other problems don't get stuck having you have to launch a stupid little application that inevitably gets acquired by Google or Apple. These companies can thrive on non-Google Android," explained McMaster.
Is Cyanogen concerned that Google might not think too highly of this strategy? No because it sees its future as being Google-free. McMaster says Cyanogen will have its own app store in 18 months. Of course, there is nothing to stop Google from impeding Cyanogen's plans either.
We are not sure how Cyanogen intends to achieve this vision, given how dependent it currently is on Google and its services. Even open source projects need some center mass for an ecosystem to interconnect with and seek guidance from, the Android Open Source Project and Ubuntu are good examples of that.
You may probably use the Cyanogenmod made by Cyanogen Inc. on your Android Smartphone. According to a report in The Information, Cyanogen Inc. rejected acquisition interest from Google. Google's Android chief, Sundar Pichai reportedly discussed the search giant's interest in the small company in a recent meeting with its top brass.
Instead of becoming part of Google, Cyanogen is in late-stage discussions for Series C round of financing. The company is seeking a valuation that is close to $1 Billion, despite the fact that it is barely generating revenue.
Potential Cyanogen investors have reportedly been told that the company has struck a deal with the Indian manufacturer Micromax. The latter's smartphones will be outfitted with custom Android ROMs, a la OnePlus One as part of the agreement.
The Cyanogen OS version 13.1 update is now out for relevant devices and it brings a unique feature along with it, called "Mods." This is not exactly a single feature, but an integration of multiple features from different external apps, built right into the Cyanogen OS itself. In order to understand what we are talking about here, consider the following example. Since it is a part of the Operating System's in-built Phone application, your Skype contacts can now be found in your smartphone's contacts by default, just like all the other contacts. You can place a Skype voice/video call directly from there.
Other popular third-party applications integrated in the OS are; Twitter in the lock screen, OneNote in the E-mail app and Hyperlapse in the camera. You can also instruct Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant, to take a selfie by simply saying, "take a selfie!" If you found these features to be interesting then there's much more waiting for you once you actually start using the new OS. As of now, it is only available for the OnePlus One, but YU and Zuk devices are also sure to start receiving the upgrade any day now.
***Cyanogen OS is different from CyanogenMod OS and this news is in relation to the former, as stated throughout the article.
Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Cyanogen Inc. is going through a complete re-branding, New concept, New Logo and even a New boot animation that will be included on all the company's upcoming custom Android ROMs.
Cyanogen, today, showed a new boot animation that will be integrated with the upcoming Cyanogen OS 12 in a YouTube video that you can watch below. This version of Cyanogen OS is based on Android Lollipop and will include a number of new features headed by Project Volta.
Cyanogen's employee Adnan Begovic dropped quite the bomb over the Seattle Coderush dev event. He claims today Cyanogen has over 50 million users, which is more than Windows Mobile and BlackBerry combined.
And let me stop you before you start digging evidences and reports that this is not true. He is absolutely right, at least technically.
Windows Mobile is the key here the OS is the predecessor of Windows Phone and very few people are still using it today. The golden era of the Windows Mobile has been long over and only few users are still using their WM phones. Most of them probably use the notorious HTC HD2 and may even not run WM, but that's for another topic.
There is a chance Adnan Begovic meant Windows Phone instead of Windows Mobile. This means someone at Cyanogen was too keen to brag before making any proper calculations. Windows Phone had 50 million active users by the end of 2013 as per AdDuplex report, which means 20 months later those should be a lot more. And we are sure BlackBerry users are enough to tip the scales even if the Microsoft platform has been standing still.