Microsoft may offer Windows Phone and RT for free to better compete with Android

Microsoft may offer Windows Phone and RT for free to better compete with Android
Windows Phone has been doing well in the low-end market in some regions, and has been steadily growing its market share around the world. The trouble is that Nokia (soon to be Microsoft) comprises as much as 90% of the Windows Phone devices sold, and Microsoft needs more hardware manufacturers to take the platform seriously if it is to continue its rise. With that in mind, Microsoft may be considering removing the licensing fees for Windows Phone and RT.

Sources for The Verge are saying that Microsoft is planning versions of its mobile platforms that will be offered to manufacturers free of charge. The plan may even include more ads and a bigger push to get users onto subscription services like SkyDrive, Office, and Skype. A move to removing license fees is quite obviously an attempt to target Android, which is not only license-free but the leading mobile platform in the world. This isn't the first time we've heard this though, as there were reports that Microsoft was in talks with HTC to offer Windows Phone licenses for free.

Some reports have pegged the current license fees of Windows Phone at somewhere between $20 and $30; and even before Microsoft announced its intentions to purchase Nokia, there were reports of manufacturers avoiding Windows Phone because of the licensing fees. A move to offering Windows Phone for free would certainly remove that barrier, especially with free options like Android, FirefoxOS, and Ubuntu around. 

source: The Verge



11. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

They would get more aggresive at patent trolling if they were to do this.

10. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Offering Windows Phone for free would be a great move by MS. This can offer choices of brands and affordable WPs.

8. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

No body would want them even if M$ is paying manufacturers to use its OSes untill there are like 300k+ apps.

7. zekes

Posts: 230; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

So you do understand that Windows phone strongest part is the entry-level market right let's see android or Google make a phone at that price point it can happen but how will the performance be Android strongest point is the midrange market

16. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Sorry, but no. Android has all markets right now. As much as their really low budget phones suck, they still sell more as a whole. Although, the new Moto G is the best low end phone you can buy with mid range specs right now.

5. zekes

Posts: 230; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

if they do this move android might lose a lot of market share just think about it the cheapest nokia wp is at 70 dollars if thay removed this license we could see a $40 Windows Phone Android would be hurt BAD

6. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Not necessarily. Sure, you get the folks at the lowest end of the market, but what about at the higher end? From heavyweight to heavyweight, Windows Phones don't offer anything compelling over Android devices.

13. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

Exactly, it's not just prices that are driving sales, it's options and features, which is where Android cleans house.

17. snowgator

Posts: 3630; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Right now Sniggs, you are 100% correct. And WP 8 is still lagging behind in features to Android and iOS. But to say the low end success is not important to the growth of WP is where I disagree. The L520's and all the other lower end devices success has the chance to build customer loyalty in a way that just competing for the high end dollar can't. This is the mistake HTC made- for the past three years, they have all but given up on the mid-to-low range market and sliced their own throat. Now, HTC is saying they need to concentrate on that market to build an audience. Nokia made MS pay attention to the low end and developing markets, and it has paid off huge, and I hope that will translate to "hero" device sales over time. Throw in the fact that WP has had three updates this year that has added needed features, and WP is still fine.

18. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Oh, I'm perfectly aware how important the low end sales are. Its exactly how Android has seen such awesome growth itself, and it would be foolish to dismiss the "rabble," as it were, as iFanboys did so often early on.

9. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

lol ha ha how can you be so stupid.. the soc itself costs about 20 $ , 20-30 $ display + rest of the components sc.. that 70 dollar price of nokia is arrived after nokia selling at a loss + 20 $ per handset money from microsoft to nokia to support it + no licence fees charged from nokia all this was done to gain marketshare , nokia didn't mind selling at a loss as microsoft was already going to buy them ..

12. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

I couldn't have explained it better.

4. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Likely too little, too late. Windows Phone 8 just doesn't stand up to scrutiny by itself compared to Android and iOS.


Posts: 31; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

This is Good News....( As said earlier tested MONOPOLY is BAD for Consumers...) But Microsoft Should bring basic features things ASAP.....We all know what they are lacking we all know including MS......and MS should not delay this time....

2. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

You mean to tell me that Microsoft was charging OEM's? No wonder Nokia is the only game in town.

15. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

They are also charging app developers. I said about a couple of months ago, that they were too far behing Android and Apple to start off that way. It really slowed down their progress.

1. DaHarder

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 10, 2009

If that's what they feel they need to do, though I'm certainly not complaining about either of my current Nokia devices (Lumia 928 and Lumia 2520) as they look, feel and function like they were perfectly designed to run their versions on Microsoft's mobile OS (because They Were). I'd be perfectly content with Nokia's Lumia brand being the ONLY devices running Windows Phone/RT as it appears that ONLY Nokia seems to have mastered the synergy between Microsoft's software and suitable hardware. (and Yes, that includes the Surface RT). Apple's done well with such an arrangement, and there's not reason Nokia/Microsoft can't successfully follow suit.

14. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Dude, the Surface 2 is just as good if not better than the Nokia 2520. The Nokia is way overhyped and the only benefit it offers is LTE which the surface is getting early next year and the useless Nokia software everyone thought was a big deal.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless