Microsoft Aims for Affordable Smartphones and Eliminates Windows Phone Licensing to Manufacturers

by Istvan Fekete on April 3, 2014

With the latest Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft is aiming high: it breathes new life into Windows Phone, so we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe Windows Phone’s global market share has a chance to grow in the end?

Microsoft is desperately looking for partners: it added nine Windows Phone partners last month, some of whom are dominant players in “smaller markets” such as China and India. But this hasn’t been enough to make waves and boost the adoption of the Windows Phone.

Besides announcing the great new features implemented in Windows 8.1, Microsoft made a significant announcement: from now on, it no longer charges a licensing fee to manufacturers for devices under 9-inches. This means smaller tablet, phablet, and smartphone manufacturers will be able to cut the cost of a Windows Phone license.

“Microsoft is evolving its Windows business model to enable partners to offer lower-cost devices in the highly competitive smartphone, tablet and PC categories. Microsoft will offer to hardware partners $0 Windows with services including a one-year subscription to Office 365.

With Windows 8.1 Update hardware partners can also more easily build lower-cost machines — such as devices with 1 GB of RAM and a 16GB hard disk drive — without sacrificing the experience customers expect. The combination of new efficiencies and innovations from Microsoft hardware partners means customers will be able to choose from a wider range of Windows devices, particularly budget-friendly notebooks and tablets.”

This doesn’t mean that Windows Phone is now open and customizable like Android, but it does eliminate another barrier between Microsoft and smartphone/tablet manufacturers.

The announcement comes alongside the company’s plans to allow developers to make universal apps that work on smartphones and tablets as well as PCs. As a result, developers can start saving time and money, because Microsoft has launched a new tool that allows them to think universal and, with a fraction of the time spent on modifying the code, they can have their apps running on all Windows devices.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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