At least two handset makers are said to have free access to Windows Phone licenses
While various bean counters may disagree on the exact numbers, all of them have Android and iOS dominating the smartphone market. Microsoft would like nothing more than for its Windows Phone platform to at least be in the hunt, though as it stands, Windows Phone and BlackBerry are in a dogfight for a distance third place finish behind the big two. That being the case, Microsoft is reportedly offering free Windows Phone licenses to select handset makers.
According to The Times of India, Microsoft has waived the Windows Phone license fee to two phone makers in India -- Lava and Karbonn. These companies already offer Android phones, and Microsoft hopes that by removing the Windows Phone license fee, they'll be able to offer some intriguing and affordable WP handsets as well.
One thing that's interesting about the deals reportedly being doled out by Microsoft is that they trump even what the software maker was willing to offer Nokia, which itself is believed to have paid between $20 to $30 for each Lumia device it sold.
"For our planned Windows Phone handsets, we are not paying Microsoft a license fee. The company is obviously exploring new models for Windows Phone. It must have realized that the older model where it licensed the OS did not work out well, even with Nokia's support," a senior executive with an Indian phone company told The Times of India.
Another senior executive said it would be easier to experiment with Windows Phone devices once the license fee is removed from the equation.