Microsoft is beginning to try new things to tackle Android and iOS in the competitive smartphone market. Slashing the Windows Phone licensing fees for some OEM partners may be one option the company is looking into. According to a report on India Times, Microsoft is waiving license costs and offering the operating system to at least two Indian phone vendors for free.
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled a bunch of new partners for Windows Phone, including two from India — Lava and Karbonn. The two companies will produce smartphones running Windows Phone this year and already make Android hardware running Google's OS for free. Microsoft making it so companies can produce Windows Phones at similar costs to Android certainly makes the platform more appealing, or that's the plan at least.
India Times has been informed by industry sources that Microsoft was in discussions with two local firms to produce affordable Windows Phones since last year, much like what the company is attempting to do with Windows 8. Should this report be accurate and Microsoft is indeed offering its OS to some partners for free, this would be an interesting move for Redmond, considering the company charges Nokia for each Lumia device.
This isn't a new era for Microsoft with no license fees for partners, but more a move to form specific deals for companies in certain markets to help produce more affordable products. We can definitely see this as a likely plan of action for the company, which is surely attempting to make Windows Phone 8.1 "work." The update will look to inject new life into the platform with common annoyances being addressed, new features added and more.
This is all rumor still, for now. We'll look into the situation further and update you all should we learn anything new.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.