Cyanogen develops enhanced open source firmware distribution for smartphones and tablet computers based on the Android open source OS. Most often, it offers features and options not found in the official firmware distributed by vendors of these devices. Last year, we reported that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had a meeting with Cyanogen. We were speculating about possible partnership or acquisition for Cyanogen with Microsoft.
Today, WSJ reported that Microsoft is investing in Cyanogen. Microsoft will be a minor part of $70 million round of equity financing that values Cyanogen in the high hundreds of millions.
This is a significant news given the fact that Cyanogen is trying to decouple Google from Android which is also Microsoft is looking for. CEO of Cyanogen recently said in a interview that they are attempting to take Android away from Google. He said that Cyanogen is trying to to make 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.