According to the rumor mill, Microsoft is conceiving making Windows Phone and Windows RT available at no penny to device makers. This will be Microsoft trying to pull off and Android move as part of broader changes it could implement. I wonder if this will encourage device manufacturers like HTC and Samsung to stay committed to the Windows ecosystem despite the soon to be Nokia acquisition.
Windows RT has had issues of its own ever since its inception with lack of basic features like the start menu, Microsoft currently licenses Windows RT and Windows Phone software to device makers, plus also makes some money on every Android phone sold thanks to its wide range of patents. It should however be noted that the majority of Windows revenue comes from OEMs who build systems based on Windows 8 and Windows RT.
We have seen Microsoft fund several start up tech companies in Africa in order to boast its ecosystem
Microsoft has found its self at crossroads with their unpopular Windows RT while device makers are flocking to Android for tablets and Smartphones. Free versions of Windows RT and Windows Phone would likely push device makers to produce more products which will improve developer interest in building applications for the Windows platforms. In Africa, Uganda today we have seen Microsoft fund several start up tech companies in order to boast its ecosystem with more Afro-centric relevant apps.
So the question to ask is where Microsoft get is expected to get its revenue from if it decides to remove licensing for Windows Phone and Windows RT? The only reason Android is free is because Google’s business solely relies on ads. Microsoft has of recent been experimenting with ads in Windows 8 apps. And to get additional revenues we could see Microsoft also pushing consumers to subscribe to services like SkyDrive, Office, and Skype, the way people are now hooked to Google drive, hangouts and the whole slew of Google services. So am all in for free versions of Windows operating systems.