Microsoft Doles Out Free Windows Phone Licenses to Select OEMs
Can Windows Phone catch up to Android? Microsoft is giving it a go by offering some OEMs free licenses for it smartphone OS.Microsoft has made a break from tradition by licensing Windows Phone 8.1 to some Indian smartphone makers for free. The Times of India reported on March 13 that Lava and Karbonn, which Microsoft welcomed as new Windows Phone licensees during this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, have had their fees waived. In effect, they will be able to bring Windows Phones to market without paying Microsoft a cent. "Multiple industry sources with knowledge of Microsoft's negotiations with Indian phone companies told TOI that it was in talks with local firms to produce affordable Windows Phone devices since last year," stated the report. Indications are that Lava and Karbonn, which already produce phones based on the rival Android platform, drove a hard bargain, one which Microsoft agreed to honor. "But the agreements were clinched only when Microsoft agreed to remove the license fee it charges from phone makers for its OS," wrote The Times of India's Javed Anwer. He added that "the agreements with the two Indian firms are specific to them," although Microsoft is likely to ink similar deals with other OEMs.
A spokesperson for the software giant told Anwer, "We have extensive programmes to help our partners build great devices. Our licensing model allows us to partner with OEMs across the world."