A team within Nokia had reportedly worked to run Android on the company's Lumia handsets, however the Microsoft takeover is expected to halt the project, according to a New York Times report. The tests are said to have achieved success well before the companies began negotiating the $7.2 billion acquisition, though the efforts were kept secret.
Nokia has been criticized for signing an exclusive deal with Microsoft in 2011, forcing the Finnish handset maker to embrace Windows Phone for its range of Lumia handsets. As Microsoft's mobile OS struggled to gain traction, competitors such as Samsung embraced Android as it rose to dominance in the smartphone arena.
The Windows Phone exclusivity deal reportedly left Nokia with an opt-out option after 2014. A threat of switching to Android is not believed to have been a factor in the acquisition talks, though the quiet Android development suggests Nokia had been reconsidering the ongoing partnership.
A separate report last week suggested Microsoft and Nokia had kept secrets from each other, despite their tight collaboration on Windows Phone. Windows Phone executive Joe Belfiore claimed a lack of communication caused problems during development.
Microsoft suggests its purchase of Nokia's mobile phone division will strengthen its position in the market and help Windows Phone gain market share.