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Microsoft adds 50 new partners after dropping Windows licensing fee

Terry Myerson revealed during the launch of Windows 10 yesterday that 50 additional companies have signed on to make Windows-based devices after Microsoft removed licensing fee for the platform. Earlier this year, the software maker announced that it would be giving licensing Windows for free to OEMs building devices with screen sizes under nine inches.

Myerson stated that Microsoft will not change its stance on offering Windows for free in the future. He said, "It's going well. I expect we will continue it."

While Microsoft did not mention how much the Windows 10 upgrade would cost, it is great to see that partners will be able to build phones and tablets that run the operating system without having to pay a license fee.

By giving Windows away for free to device manufacturers, Microsoft aims to increase its market share in emerging markets. We are already seeing that to a certain extent in countries like India, where vendors like Micromax, Xolo and Karbonn have launched Windows Phone devices.

What do you guys think of the recent influx of Windows-based devices?

Source: Re/code

104 Comments
  • Free is the magic word
  • My favorite four letter f word
  • Wrong choice. Still its the second best answer :p
  • What if the best and second best were put together?? ^_^
  • Free Beer ? Yeah I can dig that!
  • Free Food, double whammy. 
  • An HDMI port is the magic word, here's what I would do, create a 40 mm tablet under 9" with amazing specs specially a touch screen with wacon digitizer, after installing windows 10 for free on it, encourage customer base to use HDMI out to create a desktop experience where the screen goes off and its just a digitizer + track pad.
  • You have my attention.
  • you'd be surprised how many people are eating crow at this. so many, on this very board said that WP being free would be dooming as if the same old strategy was working. we can see now who was right. and I'm going to add that android apps on windows phone will have the same positive effect, even as many oppose this out of FUD.
  • I just want to ask why not buy an Android device instead then? What is it that makes WP interesting to us? Design language. Allowing Android apps on Windows only discourages developers from making genuine WP apps with the guidelines we all enjoy. It will be a world at our fingertips: a world of mostly crap. Microsoft should leverage the familiarity of the 1+ BILLION users on Windows with Live Tiles and Metro (the introduction of which the botched with Windows 8) and provide the same set of apps on all devices. So you'd have your awesome Windows machine (awesome now, because of Windows 10 and MS finally listening) and you'd have the same awesome experience on your phone too. It's the same thing! That's the power MS wields and has been unable to properly use so far. That's how you get developers attracted to Windows and WP by extension. Not by adopting the mess we are taking a refuge from here in WP.   P.S. In a world where there is a dominant free OS called Android, what idiot could be against making Windows free on certain devices?!
  • Great
  • That's great.But I jus want to know what profit MS gets by giving free OS license for the device manufacturers?
  • patents from android
  • I would say Microsoft is making the OS free, Thus a larger user base and the profit is made from the store. Microsoft takes 30% of the app revenue. This is one way Microsoft generates money from the OS, but there are other ways
  • No, I don't think an OS like this should be free. It's takes months to do an OS and I want Microsoft to stay profitable so I don't mind paying for an OS of this magnitude and believe it's a business mistake after all that is why you are in business. I want the store to succeed allowing the developers to make decent $ off  their work which in kind would be a motivator for this is how we can get good and hopefully some of the best apps. Microsoft have no choice with the wp OS because Google set the market standard an OEMs with Android in hand would not need to spend on fees for another OS in this category.
  • That, and mindshare. They'll probably stick with WP if everyone has it and they've had at least one WP.
  • More manufacturers produce, they produce cheaper devices, more people buy, bigger market share, more money in the long run, obviously
  • How? How does monetisation come in?
  • App sales, I guess. I have no clue.
  • Ads. In the future...
  • They'll worry about that later. They make enough money from patents, enterprise sales (Office, Server OS, etc.), and their services to afford giving away free copies of their OS to OEMs. Market share is the goal here as WP is still barely even a blip on the radar. Without market share, monetization definitely isn't coming in, so it's a "loss now for future profit" mindset. WP has to do well or their "same OS on many devices" mantra drops to two devices: tablets and PC's.
  • I got their goal... They expanding on services making profit from them... And making is free.... Balancing the loss..
  • Microsoft makes profit off of the purchase of regular OS licenses (Boxed copies, Downloads, etc.)
  • From software that isn't free. It's a hedge bet against future returns. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • They make money from Windows store app sales, Windows app ads, etc...
  • Windows store, ad revenue and its only for devices under 9 anything which means u want a computer or large tablet ur gonna either buy windows 10 or vendor will pay fee then
  • Read the article very carefully. The under 9 freebie was announced earlier this year. Yesterday, that freebie was extended to all OEMs spec'ing Windows 10 for their hardware of all sizes and form factors.
  • It's a legitimate question. They are hoping that the windowed universal apps will take off now and they get a cut of all Windows Store sales.
  • Apps ads lol growth
  • It's hardly rocket-science, the same way Google and Apple do, through purchases from the Store. Also down the line the more people that are on Windows devices the more likely they are to use other MS services that aren't free.
  • People keep saying app store, but the returns from the app store (be it Apple's, Google's, or Microsoft's) are paltry compared to their current profits. There is simply no way they're planning to turn their app store into their only source of revenue. My guess is that getting more people on Windows can help sell Office and enterprise versions of Windows, which still have licensing costs. Also the bulk of Windows profits comes from volume licensing of the desktop operating system to OEMs, and that's not going anywhere
  • Uh, those all come with Bing.  That's money.  OneDrive, also money.  Etc etc.  Google makes money on Android search
  • they get something they are lacking: relevance and marketshare. how much is that worth to microsoft? well let's just say they can't buy it even if they want to.
  • Excellent approach, more attention to the platform opens more market's keep it going...
  • +930
    +Surface
  • Lets see if this helps drive adoption rates. Lets hope so. I may be a high end buyer but the low end is where the market is and they have a ton of work to do.
  • It works for Android.
  • Android is not free when Google piles on their Google Mobile Services and robot licensing. And OEMs can't access the Google Play store if they don't play ball with Google.
  • Windows 10 rocks.
  • Should have always been the plan. Microsoft should make money on app store sales.
  • I hope for windows 10 on Lumia to be able to perform multitasking too. For example, me answering a call while I search the web or be in Facebook. That would be multitasking. Buy if that's going to mess up with my battery even more like cyan did, no thanks
  • But pressing the back button while in a call moves the call to the top of the screen, leaving you free to do almost anything else... Is this what you mean?
  • I already search the web while my wife rambles at me, then shift to one note to update the honey do list, and over to calender to coordinate her pre-natal appointments... No! No! Make the multitasking stop!
  • Hahaha nice
  • LOL, you sound like the right level of frazzled for a dad-to-be. Congrats BTW.
  • ^what this guy said. You can use the phone while on a call. That's about the only multitasking that is supported right now
  • Pretty sure you can do that right at this very moment now on Windows Phone.
  • Who are those 50 new ones?
  • This is usually an issue with your carrier. Verizon & Sprint's CDMA technology cannot do this. But once phones move to VoLTE this should no longer be an issue. AT&T & T-Mobile customers have been able to maintain calls while browsing the web for years.
  • I'm on Verizon and I'm pretty sure I can do this now with my Lumia 928.
  • Asia, and can already do this. And our network is bad.
  • Actually I do this all the time while I'm on a conference call. Il check emails, send text messages, and even quickly look something up on the web.
  • Would do that only if 3G would stay on and not turning to 2G
  • 50..?? That's huge.
  • Smart move. Fight fire with fire.
  • I've personally use water and be the cool one. :P
  • Bingo!
  • Clapclapclap
  • Who are those 50 new ones?
  • The same no names that make low end shit Android devices.
  • It does not matter if they are so called "no names." What matters is that they will in turn get the attention of bigger named OEMs because those bigger named OEMs will not want to be left out of territory they think they can dominate.
  • Probably local OEMs, even in my country a small OEMs making windows tablet under $200. So i think it should be more than 50.
  • Excellent, and MS most likely does not force vendors to add 20 MS apps like Google does with Android. And a WP out of the box with the bundle of MSN apps is actually a very nice offering. MS is on a roll!
  • Not yet
  • now with android google is forcing u to use more apps of theirs u can even delete it.
  • According to WMPU-they got same article- Microsoftis sharing Bing search profits with Windows OEMs who leave the search engine as the default on their devices.
    -------------------------------
    The OEMs may lose one of the incentives.
  • Why would they Bing ain't dead its fine and it will be fine MS is not killing them off there actually building all the software around Bing and providing apple with Bing services dont sound to me like its going anywhere
  • And there goes quality
  • Ah . Ah finally Windows 10 taking on Mac OS. . C'mon . A right time to prove whom you're MS. . . #kill_mac&_droids
  • Taking on mac OS your funny mac OS cant compete against what its been out since the 90s and only has a 4.5% market share come on in mobile Microsoft might be the little guy but in PC there the king hands down
  • That Word is so powerful
  • No one says nothing about windows 10 how will be in phones !! Noo rumours ?????
  • Most of these vendors will make shit products. That said if even one or two hit it big and grow into successful companies making quality product it will be worth it... Remember even the mighty Samsung was once a crappy off brand. Maybe one of these vendors will hit the right combination of price, features and design to really help grow WP in a big way.
  • Well let's keep I'm mind that Windows Phone is not heavily dependent on the latest tech in order to provide a smooth experience.
  • Maybe Blu. I looked at some of the things that they are into. I really like their camera app...much better than any of the current OEMs including Nokia, Apple, or HTC. They also have a Snapdragon 800 Android phone. It would be great to see them create a Windows version.
  • The one partner I think know for sure is Xiaomi.....
  • Microsoft needs to make an offline version of Office Online (i.e. free Office). Google Docs is making the play for being that 'good enough' suite, Microsoft should preempt that. Bring a barebones free Office, use it to hook people into OneDrive, Office Online, Bing, Skype, MSN, etc. Then with time, on-ramp to Office 365.
  • You already have the free version, when you are in OneDrive you can open a Web version of Word when ou open a docs document!!!! same for onenote and excel!!!
  • Uh, I think bilzkh mentioned something about offline... Of course, that's not going to happen. Too many users would be happy to have anything better than Notepad when offline. Microsoft is willing to accommodate, but last time I checked, they still have shareholders and they're not operating as a non-profit corporation. Office 365 Personal is only $7/mo. The subscription/license allow you to install on 2 devices (+ your WP), it includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage, and 60 world minutes for Skype every month. N-O B-R-A-I-N-E-R.
  • Well, now they know how to revive Xbox live on WP. remove those fees and wait times!
  • I like the massive influx of devices. Maybe app devs will start taking Windows Phone seriously.
  • I wander if MS will make Windows 10 free for users to upgrade from W7 and XP (I assume W8 users will). Considering that the vast majority of people don't update their systems until they buy new ones, and Microsoft needs to have solid numbers to convince developers to bet on the platform, it could be a strong possibility.
  • Can you really see Windows 10 running well on a box built for XP? Users running a Pentium II, single-core processor won't be able to install/run Win10. They'll blame it on Microsoft and the OS, not their 15-yr-old hardware.
  • Please be free for win 8 users!!! Please!!!
  • They make money through their services. The larger the user base the more customers they have to push their services. Free today doesn't mean free forever. As he stated, they are evaluating this free OS plan as they go. Once you reach a certain critical mass I doubt the OS will remain free. They are trying to make up market share.
  • Going for market share is absolutely a strategy, but it's not that great for app developers, particularly for apps and services coming out of California and Silicon Valley.   Most emerging market buyers of low spec phones, don't really purchase apps or subscribe to many services, and aren't really prized advertising targets, sorry to say. It's why app developers always target iPhone and iPad users first, since they're assumed to have the most disposable income.
  • And right after I see Advan, a local OEM from Indonesia which usually makes Windows laptops and Android tablets and smartphones, announcing their new Windows tablets (albeit only 1/16/3G configuration at the moment for both 8 and 10 inchers, which were offered at around USD 168 and 197 on mid October). You can read the announcement news here (in Indonesian of course). Well ... it's about time Windows tablets spread wider I guess. :3
  • I want to know the names of the 50 partners. Because if it's 50 obscure Chinese and Indian partners, then it's as good as if there were no partners at all. If Microsoft wants WP to grow they need the big names. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Microsoft basically *needs* Samsung, Sony, HTC and LG to go all in on Windows Phone. Due to Microsoft's stringent rules though, none of those companies can offer their own services, front and center, on WP devices. Would Microsoft allow Sony to offer Walkman Music and Sony Video instead of Xbox Music and Video?  Playstation mobile instead of Xbox Games? Would they let Samsung show off their own services, and only offer the Microsoft equivalents as options to download from the Windows store?
  • And that's exactly why I believe that's why Sony hasn't released any WP device. If Microsoft doesn't cooperate, they can't them moan they lose customers.
  • I bet half of those brands were born over night and in 6 months time most of them aren't even here to tell their story. Just like cheap android brands...
  • How does Microsoft monetize this?
  • The same way Google make money from Android: Ads and IAPs, even paid Apps.
  • Google makes money from licensing Android, the robot, and Google Mobile Services. If you don't pay Google, you can't put access the Google Play store on your open source device. For instance, if you buy an Amazon Fire phone, you get your apps from the Amazon App Store (there are only 200K apps/games), not Google Play.
  • On one hand, it's great for emerging markets, but I have concerns about the lack of high end flagship hardware for the U.S.  
  • They actually gain d market and to get down of android market so dat if dey give free os phones and tablets will be more and more in market as android so buyers will be more coz its attractive and its w10
  • Just because manufacturers make them, don't mean people will buy them. I prefer MS to crapple, and screwgle. But, the way its going, people will never abandon that windows 3.1 look of their crappy products.
  • Because OEMs are cheap..........
  • I think they should have added that it had to be rt based as anything under 9in. Isnt worth using w8/pro
  • I read somewhere, MS is in talks with Xiomi..
  • They'll make money from office
  • marketshare or go home.
  • Hope this move won't impact their quarterly profit.
  • I think this is a brilliant strategy by Microsoft to gain market share in the smartphone market. I really hope it works out for them. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android