Rumor: Microsoft mulling free Windows RT and Windows Phone versions to OEMs

Microsoft is rumored to be at least thinking about giving away Windows RT and Windows Phone to OEMs for use in their upcoming tablets and smartphones. The plan may be part of a larger effort to boost Windows in general under Microsoft's new operating systems leader Terry Myerson with its "Threshold" plans.

The Verge reports, via unnamed sources, that while nothing has been finalized yet, Microsoft could offer the latest versions of Windows RT and Windows Phone to device companies for free in time for the Threshold updates to both operating systems. Those updates are rumored to be released as early as fall 2014 but could also be launched in the spring of 2015.

These rumored plans are being made even as Microsoft prepares to acquire Nokia's Devices and Services business by the end of the first quarter of 2014. Nokia already sells the vast majority of Windows Phone devices and is currently the only third party company to sell a Windows RT tablet, the Lumia 2520. Offering both operating systems for free to third party device makers would, in theory, encourage more tablets and smartphones to use Microsoft's Windows platform and hopefully give the company a better chance at competing with Google and its dominant Android OS.

Source: The Verge | Image via Nokia

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