One of the larger questions hanging over Windows Phone at the moment is what role OEMs will have in the future, as Nokia and its domination of the WP market come fully under Microsoft’s arm. Some manufacturers have been clear that they’re in this for the long haul, while others have seemed much less committed. Yesterday, we talked about a rumor that Microsoft could be interested in providing its OS free from licensing fees to companies interested in making compatible hardware. Today rumors change their tune to a much more direct strategy, suggesting Microsoft could be trying to lure Samsung with $1B in support in exchange for Samsung’s continued role as a Windows Phone OEM.
From what tipster Eldar Murtazin shares, it’s not clear what form that payment might make – advertising spending, investments in Samsung, or just outright cash awards. We also don’t get a sense of the timeframe – $1B over quite a few years?
While we’d love to see a vibrant Windows Phone lineup, that sure sounds like a lot of money for Microsoft to spend when Nokia devices are already so well received. Considering the minor role Samsung’s had with WP8 to date, it’s all just a little hard to believe – we’ll have to wait and see, but we’re not exactly banking on this idea just yet.