The Verge claims Microsoft is considering to make its Windows Phone and Windows RT operating systems available free of charge to device maker in order to be able to better compete with Google's Android. While nothing is set in stone yet, the move may arrive with the introduction of the "Threshold" range of updates for Windows. According to the report, the decision to axe license fees for the mobile versions of Windows would be backed by a push for revenue from Microsoft's apps and services.
We understand that any decision to axe the license fees for Windows Phone and Windows RT would be backed by a push for revenue from Microsoft’s apps and services. Microsoft has been experimenting with ads in Windows 8 apps, and any associated revenue from those apps and the company’s built-in Bing search results would help offset the lack of license fees. Microsoft would also push consumers to subscribe to services like SkyDrive, Office, and Skype for additional revenue.
Microsoft’s thinking behind free versions of Windows is clear: drive demand and combat Android. At present, Nokia dominates Windows Phone, and PC makers have started to ignore Windows RT in favor of Windows 8 and Android. While device makers are flocking to Android for tablets and smartphones, Microsoft and Nokia are the only companies left shipping Windows RT products.