Feeds

Microsoft gives away Windows Phone 8 licences in India – report

'Experiment' welcomed by local mobe-makers who would otherwise embrace Android

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft convinced two Indian mobe-makers to use Windows Phone by letting them install it for free, according to The Times of India.

The paper's report says Lava and Karbonn, both of which announced their Windows Phone plans at the Mobile World Congress, only signed up after “... when Microsoft agreed to remove the licence fee it charges from phone makers for its OS.”

The Times of India quotes an un-named “senior executive with an Indian phone company “ as saying “For our planned Windows Phone handsets, we are not paying Microsoft a licence fee. The company is obviously exploring new models for Windows Phone. It must have realized that the older model where it licenced the OS did not work out well, even with Nokia's support.”

“Another senior executive” told the paper the free licence is not permanent, but an “experiment” between Microsoft and the un-named company. “Windows Phone still doesn't have lot of appeal in the market but now that it doesn't have any licence fee, it becomes easier for us to experiment with it," the senior executive said.

Microsoft was built on licensing operating systems to hardware makers, so for the company to step away from that tactic, even in a developing market, is a remarkable shift.

Windows Phone is not a stand-out in the market, so it has never achieved the dominance that allowed Microsoft to corral PC-makers so effectively in the days of Windows 3.1 and 95. Google's free Android licences gave its operating system plenty of momentum and helped to reduce the price of smartphones.

The cost of handsets is very important in nations like India, where a $US100 device remains an extravagance for the majority of the populace. With Windows phone requiring hefty-ish hardware, and not enjoying Android's ability to run older versions on lesser kit, removing licence costs is an obvious way for Microsoft to go after what some pundits call “the next billion” people to come online.

If waiving licence fees helps Microsoft to win some of those people coming online for the first time, it's probably worth it to have the chance of selling them some services or at least flash some ads past their eyeballs. Just what services work for someone in a village or small town in less-developed parts of India are for better minds than your correspondent's to determine. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.