Windows Phone and Windows RT May Soon Be Free Of License Fees
The Verge is reporting that sources close to Microsoft have indicated the company is seriously considering making Windows Phone and Windows RT available to device manufacturers free of charge. Microsoft would most likely move to a free licensing model with the upcoming “Threshold” update, the next major Windows update rumoured to bring back the Start menu.
The majority of Windows revenue currently comes from licensing Windows 8 and Windows RT to OEMs. However, Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nokia’s handset division virtually eliminated any significant Windows Phone licensing revenue, as the Finnish manufacturer was responsible for 80% of all Windows Phone shipments.
It is expected that Microsoft will try to make up for the revenue loss through apps and services, the company has experimented with running ads in Windows 8 apps so something along the same lines can be implemented in those operating systems as well. The aim is to combat Android, but it remains to be seen if free versions of its mobile operating systems will entice OEMs to develop more Windows Phone and Windows RT powered devices.