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Cyanogen is a US-based mobile software company that produces Android-based solutions for mobile devices. One of the company's missions is to end Google’s control over Android and make it a truly open-source mobile platform that many have long hoped for. Cyanogen started its early life back in 2009 with the arrival of CyanogenMod, a free, community built distribution of Android which greatly extended the capabilities of the Android device.

Created primarily by Steve "Cyanogen" Kondik as a custom ROM for the T-Mobile G1, CyanogenMod expanded its reach and feature set along with the explosive growth of the Android market powered by Google. With a vast community of contributors maintaining CM support across dozens — and eventually hundreds — of devices, Cyanogen began to chip away at Google's domination in the Android market. With CyanogenMod, Android owners able to load custom firmware on to their device could replace the manufacturer's software experience with CM, gaining new features, increased control (with optional root access), a visual style closer to Google's vision of Android — and often improved performance to boot. CyanogenMod is an open-source OS based on the Android Open-Source Project.

In 2013 Cyanogen, Inc. was founded by Kondik and leading members of the CM community with venture capital funding, in order to expand upon CM and make the project commercially viable. The following year saw the launch of the OnePlus One, running the new Cyanogen OS, launched in partnership between Cyanogen and Chinese newcomer OnePlus. That device featured a new version of CM, dubbed CyanogenMod 11s, with additional closed-source features designed for the OnePlus One. In late 2014 Cyanogen announced a partnership with Micromax in India, allowing see that manufacturer exclusively carry CM phones in that country.

In January 2015, Microsoft became a minority investor in a roughly $70 million round of equity financing that valued Cyanogen in the high hundreds of millions. Google’s Android platform basically became to smartphones what Microsfot Windows had long been for desktop computers and laptops. Microsoft was obviously not happy that it missed the boat on the smartphone revolution but it might have come up with an ingenious way to undermine Google’s control over Android.

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