Could Microsoft eliminate WP8/RT licensing fees for OEMs?

Windows Phone has ended up as a bit of a Nokia-only show. Sure, we still see signs of work on an odd device from another hardware partner every now and then, but those hardly add up to a significant slice of the platform’s share. While some WP fans would like nothing more than to keep seeing Nokia dominate, Microsoft may be wishing that more OEMs were interested in releasing new hardware, and could be considering some big changes to how it licenses its platforms, including making both Windows Phone and Windows RT free for OEMs.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard something along these lines – a little earlier this year there were rumors of Microsoft encouraging the production of dual-boot Android/WP8 phones, and the idea was mentioned that it might let WP8 go free-of-charge for companies interested in using it.

While it’s true that the idea of keeping a larger share of device profits could appeal to phone manufacturers, we wonder if the larger impact here might come from a free-to-implement Windows RT. Right now, RT’s a bit of a redheaded stepchild, and the arrival of some really great RT-running hardware might just be able to help change that – and if OEMs can save on licensing costs, they might just point that money right back into development, helping to step-up their hardware game.

The motivation for all this? Fear of Android, supposedly. Of course, even if Microsoft did go through with a plan like this it would want to make up some of that money somehow; could we be about to see Windows Phone 8 become inundated with ads?

Source: The Verge

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!