Microsoft reportedly waives Windows Phone licensing fee for Indian OEMs

Microsoft is reportedly making a strong push towards the lower spectrum of the smartphone market with cheap handsets by licensing the Windows Phone operating system to Indian manufacturers for free.

Indian and Chinese OEMs were announced as new Windows Phone partners during the Mobile World Congress 2014 by Microsoft. Now, according to a report from the Times of India, some of the Indian manufacturers who were contacted about their Windows Phone plans have confirmed that they have not paid licensing fees to Microsoft. An executive for one of the Indian OEMs said that, "For our planned Windows Phone handsets, we are not paying Microsoft a licence fee. The company is obviously exploring new models for Windows Phone. It must have realized that the older model where it licenced the OS did not work out well, even with Nokia's support." 

India is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets, and is expected to continue growing throughout 2014 according to latest numbers from IDC. For Microsoft, tapping the potential of Indian customers has proven beneficial as entry-level Lumia 520 boosted the Windows Phone platform to number two in the country. With local OEMs getting the special favour, Microsoft can finally push the price of Windows Phone handsets even lower to compete with cheap Android devices.

Microsoft declined to comment on the report but said that, "We have extensive programmes to help our partners build great devices. Our licensing model allows us to partner with OEMs across the world."

Source: Times of India

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21 Comments

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So now given this and the ability of WP8.1 to run on lower specced hardware too how does Nokia's Android X line make any sense at all for Microsoft? Why not just WP everywhere?

-adrian- said,
Why should they open source it? Doesn't make any sense.

why not? one of the selling points of android to OEMs is that they can add value. One of the reasons they are fleeing windows phone is because basically they can't do this any more.

While you may not like what OEMs want to do, what good is it to microsoft to have an OS no OEM want to take seriously when android is basically all they need.

if you want to give an android alternative, well you have to give an android alternative. As the cliche goes, the genie is out.

Well - Just adapt the same to the Desktop PC. Linux comes for free and Windows for a fee. Have a nice day. Also Stock android is a piece of useless junk without google service that you have to pay for

That is what they tried with windows phone. How has that worked out? The windows model no longer works buddy. this isn't the 90s. Basically they can either change WP fundamentally, or be irrelevant.

-adrian- said,
So paying for Software and services doesn't work anymore. Where do you work? McDonalds?

windows phone is not a service. And paying for it isn't what OEMs are doing is it? Why is MSFT cutting the licensing fees otherwise? Or did you neglect this bit of information in THE ARTICLE. Seems to me you need some reading to do, and possibly fries to cook.

neonspark said,

windows phone is not a service. And paying for it isn't what OEMs are doing is it? Why is MSFT cutting the licensing fees otherwise? Or did you neglect this bit of information in THE ARTICLE. Seems to me you need some reading to do, and possibly fries to cook.

Ha! Windows Phone is a service of a fast and smooth OS experience. Not a laggy all around chunk of crap. Waiving the license fee is a strategic move for market penetration but I am sure this is only temporary for market penetration as no company gives things for free not even your beloved spying Google.

nickcruz said,

Ha! Windows Phone is a service of a fast and smooth OS experience. Not a laggy all around chunk of crap. Waiving the license fee is a strategic move for market penetration but I am sure this is only temporary for market penetration as no company gives things for free not even your beloved spying Google.

while windows phone may contain services, it is not by itself one in the way we think of services these days, for example gmail. So don't try to salvage that point from -adrian- that was just a ridiculous thing he said.

And I'm glad you agree that free WP is a way for market penetration which one of the points I argued. The other being open so that OEMs can balance Android's dominance. I'm in fact making a case for the re-balancing of the android dominance, not loving it as you think I am. In fact, I couldn't care less for Android. Yet that doesn't change the fact their model is basically unstoppable unless MSFT gives OEMs a REAL alternative: free AND open.

neonspark said,

windows phone is not a service. And paying for it isn't what OEMs are doing is it? Why is MSFT cutting the licensing fees otherwise? Or did you neglect this bit of information in THE ARTICLE. Seems to me you need some reading to do, and possibly fries to cook.
This whole open source argument is naive. Open sourcing it won't benefit anyone. OEMs are not adapting Microsoft's platforms because:
1) Android phones with Play Services are more predominant
2) it's still unclear what MSFT is actually doing with their platforms - they seem to lack direction, at least until now.

And since you brought up Android, the OS without Google Services is junk, lacking even the basic of features required/asked for by devs today. Most OEMs just go ahead and pay a license fee to get Google's Play Services on their devices.

Yeah make it Open Source, so Microsoft has no big reason to focus on the development.
Other Open Source projects are doing so superb, unrivaled quality software that never gets abandonded or split up in 5+ different forks because people "disagree".
Just look at the OS, Linux... (one of the) first line in the life-tree of Linux are Debian, Red Hat and SuSe.... Just look at the MILLIONS of forks of Debian, the thousands of forks of Ubuntu.... Spreading the userbase so thin.... great.

Nono, Open Sourcing everything is the future and how it should be /s

Please put away those linus glasses.

how can you say it will not benefit anybody when google has greatly benefitted thus proving you wrong? do you think android would have seen as much uptake if OEMs were locked down as they are with WP?

OEMs like samsung are exploring alternatives as they do not want to be dependent on android to call the shots, thus Tizen.

While you may not think WP will be as successful as android w/o the google services, you simply can't prove it will not be more successful than windows phone prior to becoming free and open, which is my point: it can only HELP microsoft get more traction, not less, maybe enough to challenge android down the road once it gets enough share. Don't think the android hegemony is eternal. nothing is.

More adoption = more power to challenge the G. If stock android is as bad as you say, then it is an opportunity for MSFT to bring in something just as open, but good. Hit google where it hurts.

Cosmocronos said,
Once you have given something for free... good luck trying to charge for it again.

shhhhhh don't tell google they made 66 billion dollars last year "giving" something away.

Kalint said,

that's DIRECT licensing. Google's model is not making money by directly charging consumers. You see, the part you don't understand is that while MSFT can in theory make more money charging for WP, they tried that, and failed. So it doesn't matter how much BETTER you think the world would be for them if they could still do it. They cannot. The world has moved on and MSFT can choose: evolve, or be irrelevant.

They tried it your way, now let's see what happens when they try it the google way. More importantly, MSFT android royalties are 1 court decision away from being invalidated. Google's model is not tied to a patent license fee, it is tied to real consumer value added services and ad revenue. Far more valuable. Far more stable.

neonspark said,

that's DIRECT licensing. Google's model is not making money by directly charging consumers. You see, the part you don't understand is that while MSFT can in theory make more money charging for WP, they tried that, and failed. So it doesn't matter how much BETTER you think the world would be for them if they could still do it. They cannot. The world has moved on and MSFT can choose: evolve, or be irrelevant.

They tried it your way, now let's see what happens when they try it the google way. More importantly, MSFT android royalties are 1 court decision away from being invalidated. Google's model is not tied to a patent license fee, it is tied to real consumer value added services and ad revenue. Far more valuable. Far more stable.

Ugh this exhausting... so Google isn't charging customer but what, is Microsoft charging customers for Windows Phone?

Where is it recorded that MSFT android royalties are 1 court decision away from being invalidated? Microsoft owns FAT period.

Where is it recorded that Google's model isn't tied to patent licenses? It's already be stated that Google doesn't charge for GMS.

neonspark said,

shhhhhh don't tell google they made 66 billion dollars last year "giving" something away.

Actually my comment wasn't a reply to your one but to the other stating that this was just a temporarily offer and, later on MS was going to charge those OEMs again.