With the massive market share that Android currently holds today, Microsoft might be dropping its licensing fees for Windows Phones and Windows RT devices to try and heat up the competition.
Considering that 81% of all handsets shipped in the 3rd quarter of 2013 were Android devices, it’s safe to say that they are in a dominating lead when it comes to the amount of devices that use the Android operating system. Apple’s iOS was at 12.9% and Window’s phones where at a just 3.6%. Because iOS is only installed on Apple products it makes sense that the percentage of devices iOS is loaded on is fairly low. But unless the sales Nokia Lumia soar as high as iPhones, Microsoft may need a better plan.
Considering that Google doesn’t charge a dime to allow manufacturing companies to load the Android system onto their phones and Apple only loads iOS on their devices. It’s probably a safe bet that the licensing fee that Microsoft charges for their Windows Phone & RT operating systems, could be a turn-off for some companies and most likely a big deciding factor when it comes to selecting a OS for a phone.
Now this isn’t the first time that the mention of Microsoft cutting the license cost for Windows Phone has surfaced. Although this seems to be the first time that Microsoft has more “openly” considered cutting the license from Windows RT. Sources from The Verge have stated that Microsoft is considering free versions of both Windows RT and Windows Phone and that Terry Myerson, the executive VP of Microsoft’s operating systems is said to be putting this under strong consideration as a part of a reorganization at Microsoft this upcoming summer.
My question is, what does “Free versions of Windows Phone and Windows RT” exactly mean? The mention of the words ” Free Version” makes me question how far Microsoft is willing to go handing out free copies of their mobile operating systems. It seems a bit ridiculous that Microsoft would give out a less functional OS to companies opting out of the paid licenses. This is only speculation on my part based on what we’ve received from sources, but would you really put that past Microsoft?
According to sources with the verge, these free versions of the Microsoft mobile platforms may be apart of a update to various products in 2015. None of the plans to re-evaluate the license fees are close to being finalized yet, but Microsoft is said to be putting it under heavy consideration. Microsoft has made a good chunk of their revenue from the licensing costs for their operating systems, so my guess would be that they’re currently weighing out what might provide higher revenue. Dropping the license costs will encourage more OEMs to use their platform, which should bring in more sales in Microsoft apps or for services like SkyDrive. I’m sure the big question on their mind, is which will provide more of a long-term value to the company.