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First dual-booting Windows Phone and Android handsets due this year

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HTC 8X Hero
HTC 8X Hero

PC makers are increasingly pushing devices that dual-boot Android and Windows, and it appears that phone manufacturers will follow a similar path in the coming months. Microsoft recently revealed India-based Karbonn Mobiles will start shipping Windows Phones soon, and the company says it plans to create handsets that support both Android and Windows Phone.

Dual-booting Windows Phone and Android handsets arriving in around six months

The Times of India reports that Karbonn signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft and plans to release handsets with dual-boot Android and Windows Phone in around six months time. It's not clear what benefit dual-booting two separate operating systems brings, but the devices will reportedly target professionals and tech-savvy consumers. Karbonn’s first Windows Phone handsets are expected to arrive ahead of the dual-boot versions. "Microsoft has eased the regulations and is opening up its platform for other players. We signed the agreement two days ago and will launch a range of Windows Phones in about three months," says Karbonn chairman Sudhir Hasija.

Karbonn’s announcement follows rumors that Microsoft had asked HTC to install Windows Phone as a “separate option” on its Android handsets, with plans to reduce or cut license fees as an incentive. Microsoft is currently finalizing its Windows Phone 8.1 update, which includes dual-SIM and on-screen buttons support. The update will also allow phone makers to produce phones with just 4GB of storage, a change designed to increase the volume of Windows Phone handsets. Microsoft is expected to release a developer preview version of Windows Phone 8.1 at the company’s Build conference in early April.