After a surprising report that Microsoft was set to be a minority investor in Cyanogen’s latest round of funding, Bloomberg reports that didn’t actually end up happening. As of now Microsoft has no financial ties to Cyanogen, though the two are said to have at least negotiated a deal.
Still, Cyanogen has enough interest from other big players that they’re supposedly set to secure $110 million in funding, a move that could value their company at more than half a billion dollars once it’s all said and done.
The timing of the Microsoft rumor was magnified by these infamous words uttered by Cyanogen’s CEO: “we want to take Android from Google.” Not sure what the company meant at the time, everyone had feared they’d look to build a fork of Android reliant on Microsoft’s services.
Cyanogen later clarified that they meant they wanted to allow companies to be able to use Android without having to adhere to Google’s tricky usage licenses and agreements. In case you’re not aware, Android is free to download for anyone who’s interested — they put the source out there clear as day — but most of Android’s best features aren’t accessible unless you agree to load up Google’s entire ecosystem of services, apps and goods.
It’s not a big issue for most big companies, but for the smaller guys who might not be able to secure a proper license from Google without a good deal of financial hardship it’s seen as an absolutely nightmarish situation. It’s Cyanogen’s hope that they’ll be able to build an open ecosystem that everyone can enjoy no matter where they download it, why they download it and what they’re planning to use it for.