Microsoft has reportedly made its Windows Phone operating system free to select handset manufacturers in an effort to gain ground on Android and iOS.
Both Xolo and Karbonn — two smartphone makers based in India — recently signed deals with Microsoft that will allow them to launch Windows Phone devices free from license fees, according to sources speaking to The Times of India.
Reports that claimed Microsoft was ready to scrap its Windows Phone licensing fee in a bid to get other handset makers onboard first started circulating last October.
The software giant has refused to comment on the rumors, but according to The Times of India, “multiple industry sources with knowledge of Microsoft’s negotiations” have confirmed that two Indian handsets makers will produce affordable Windows Phone devices this year after Microsoft agreed to scrap its license fees.
Microsoft reportedly charges between $5 and $30 per device for Windows Phone — depending on the client and the volume of devices manufactured and sold. But it seems that the company has now accepted that the fee needs to go if the market is to see more affordable devices running its platform.
Other reports have claimed that Microsoft also wants to persuade certain handset makers to build dual-booting devices powered by both Android and Windows Phone in the hope that they’ll prefer the latter and eventually make the switch.
HTC is one of those companies, according to an October report, while Karbonn has promised its first dual-booting smartphone this summer. Meanwhile, Huawei’s Chief Marketing Officer has told TrustedReviews that its first dual-OS smartphone with Android and Windows Phone will be available during the second quarter of this year.
Source: The Times of India