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Microsoft may also cut Windows Phone licenses by 70%

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Microsoft may also cut Windows Phone licenses by 70%
Not too long ago, we heard a rumor that Microsoft might be dropping the Windows 8.1 license fees for lower cost devices. But, that may not be all that's happening. A new report is saying that Microsoft may also be considering cutting Windows Phone licenses by as much as 70% as well. Given the number of low-cost Android devices (including a new set from Nokia), having lower license fees might be a necessity.

The news comes from Infosonics CEO Joseph Ram. Infosonics is a company that makes quite a few low-cost Android devices that tend to target Latin America. Microsoft just announced a number of new Windows Phone hardware partners recently who all tend to focus on low-cost devices, including Longcheer and Gionee in China, and Karbonn and Xolo in India. Those partners will likely be the beneficiaries of this price drop. 

The ultimate aim is to be able to offer devices, likely built with Snapdragon 200 chipsets, that would compete directly with low-cost Android devices. According to Ram, Microsoft is working hard to make sure that it won't be difficult for Windows Phone manufacturers to compete with Android in emerging markets. And, with the additions coming in Windows Phone 8.1, we could see more noise from the "fastest growing" mobile OS in the world.

source: PCMag

27 Comments
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posted on 26 Feb 2014, 19:07 4

1. papss (unregistered)


Hot damn... Someone is on a role lately

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 22:16

14. lyndon420 (Posts: 1712; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Yup...they should actually wipe out the licensing fees all together and maybe start paying people to use their platform while we still know who ms is. With Nokia's Android phone, WP is becoming more of a removable user interface and less of a viable operating system.

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 07:13 1

20. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3519; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Really?... I think it's time to add you to the list.....

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 07:17

21. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3519; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Cut the price, or not, WP is a awesome platform that just keeps getting better and better... Its so good that a lot of people are scared it might be more popular than their platform one day...

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 19:21 3

2. alumoyo (Posts: 152; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)


Finally realizing that their antiquated business model has had it!

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 19:45 4

5. akki20892 (Posts: 3304; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


I see, charging more licence fees because Nokia Don't make profit, when Nokia sold their device and service they cut the licence fees. Damn you Ms.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 20:34 5

10. alterecho (Posts: 1072; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


Its really hurting to see Nokia fall and that too to underhanded tricks such as this.

I can't believe Microsft was charging OEM's to put its horrible OS on their devices. They should be charging MS to do that.

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 08:08

22. volcano (Posts: 251; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


horrible OS means ugly, dead icons, lag, malware, an os that use your data to make profit so android would be the perfect choice for the word horrible

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 00:03

15. TechBizJP08 (Posts: 495; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


Right, and MS is paying Nokia for the Exclusivity of the OS. What's your point?

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 00:43 1

17. Finalflash (Posts: 1581; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


But they didn't have exclusivity to it...

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 19:29 2

3. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1050; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Hmm looks like Microsoft's new CEO is making waves things are changing for the better at Microsoft.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 19:29 6

4. PBXtech (Posts: 970; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


For the most part MS can't afford not to. WP has momentum, they need to do everything in their power to keep it going.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 21:16 1

11. domfonusr (Posts: 324; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)


Well, if Karbonn can now afford to make a Windows Phone, then Microsoft must be making it much more attractive. If Microsoft does reduce the licensing fees that drastically, then there is a much better chance that they will keep their momentum going, or even increase their momentum. Yeah, it will make them less money per unit, but Microsoft stock already trades like a utility - why not aim for bigger marketshare and accept the more modest margin, like utilities so often do? Microsoft's ubiquity in the PC world still has a chance to be harnessed and leveraged for mobile (post-PC world) before its too late.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 21:44 1

12. PBXtech (Posts: 970; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Google makes a boatload of money from their ecosystem. Apple does too. MS needs to look at it that way. So they make less in licensing fees, app revenue and other services can more than bring in the difference if the amount of handsets sold jumps significantly.

And besides, they can't complain about license fees because they still bring in a lot from each Android handset sold.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 19:46 4

6. ZeroCide (Posts: 683; Member since: 09 Jan 2013)


New CEO already making changes

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 19:48 3

7. fireblade (Posts: 660; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


it should be free because it sucks

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 08:10

23. volcano (Posts: 251; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


in that logic android sucks lol

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 19:51 4

8. toink (unregistered)


This will be good for MS, OEMs and consumers. Everybody wins!

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 19:52 1

9. toink (unregistered)


This will be good for MS, OEMs and consumers. Everybody wins!

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 21:46

13. domfonusr (Posts: 324; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)


You know, I think this article is a great indication of why the Nokia X line is going to be such a short-lived temporary product line... people like myself may have been thinking that "X" is a great long-term Asha replacement that would allow Microsoft/Nokia to focus their Lumia line purely into the mid- to high-end, but Elop said quite the opposite, and the idea of Microsoft easing the hardware requirements and cutting licensing fees so drastically supports Elop's statements on the subject. If anything, the Lumia's and other Windows Phones from other OEM's are now poised to take a deep dive into the low-end. It now makes more sense as to why Microsoft would tolerate, but never like, the Nokia X devices. It is almost as if Elop was blind-sided by their emergence before he could cancel them, and I can hear the conversation already:

Executive Secretary: "Mr. Elop! Call from Design Team on line two!"

Steven Elop: (picks up office phone, switches to line two) "Yes?"

Nokia Design Team guy: "Uh... Mr. Elop, I was just calling to let you know that we finished the Normandy project."

Steven Elop: "Oh, fantastic! So, can I come down and see it in action?"

Nokia Design Team guy: "Well... errrr... first we wanted to let you know about a little detail."

Steven Elop: "Okay, but isn't it finished already?"

Nokia Design Team guy: "Oh, yes, after the last six months it is quite finished. We just need to tell you one thing about it, first..."

Steven Elop: "Okay, then just tell me what Lumia model number it's gonna have!"

Nokia Design Team guy: "Ummm... ... it isn't a Lumia, sir."

Steven Elop: "... What?"

Nokia Design Team guy: "It runs a forked Android, sir."

Steven Elop: ... (click)

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 00:41 1

16. Shatter (Posts: 1989; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Cut the price of windows 8.1 Professional by 75% and people might actually buy it.

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 01:20 2

18. Liveitup (Posts: 1076; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Individuals are buying Windows 8 pro, Microsoft reduced the price of Windows for lower cost devices cause that's where they see the potential treat from chromebooks though I've never seen one in public.

Cutting the License fee for WP takes away one of Android's most important advantages, if this is indeed true then it becomes just as affordable or even more affordable for OEM's to create a WP device than an Android device.

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 09:55

26. PBXtech (Posts: 970; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


True to a point, but still not going to get OEMs as excited over it like they are with Android. Case in point, MS would never allow Samsung to completely redesign WP with Touchwiz. Android is free and open, WP will never be open like Android is. Because of that, there's not as much distinction between handsets like there is with Android.

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 10:41

27. domfonusr (Posts: 324; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)


Sure, but the fact remains, under this assumption, that making Windows Phones will be much cheaper for the manufacturer, and that while the manufacturer may differentiate with Android's popularity, they don't have to worry about making custom UI's or anything for a Windows Phone product. Android will still be on their flagship products, by which they differentiate themselves, but Windows Phone is something that they can just take a lower-end phone that they've made from less desirable parts and go "plop... now you have a Windows Phone"... and sell it for cheap, but still make a profit. In the end, if your earlier statement from above (comment #12) is right, it will be the number of terminals to Microsoft services that trumps everything else.

So, for people who can't afford the high-end Androids, or who don't like the low-end Androids, and who can stomach the differences between Android and Windows Phone, to them Windows Phone now becomes a more viable option. OEM's don't need to be excited over Windows Phone, nor do customers... it will sell great in places where it becomes the only affordable functional option, and will still turn a decent profit for those OEM's and for Microsoft.

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 03:57

19. weedl (Posts: 50; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


microsoft can you cut either for win 7/8 license fee..

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 08:12

24. volcano (Posts: 251; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


they done that before where have you been you didn't use their two or three months offer windows 8 price was between 15 to 39 $ at the time

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 08:23

25. CEMIII (Posts: 110; Member since: 26 Jun 2013)


Now this goes back to what I was saying about Microsoft not supporting Android.

This here is a soild answer to the Android loophole in the Nokia contract / pre-contract or whatever they agreed upon.

- Layer a couple Android devices with a Windows Phone UI for a year.
- Slash their license fees & make it affordable & profitable for manufactures to produce WP devices. So they can compete finally on a more level playing field.
- Then rake in more manufactures to make devices & win over more consumers

A win win senario.

However everybody everybody switches to another platform it's just a matter of time. & right now it Microsoft's

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