Free Windows licensing attracted 50 new smartphone and tablet manufacturers, says Microsoft

Hammad Saleem

Lumia 1520

Not too long ago, Microsoft unveiled its latest operating system dubbed as Windows 10 — yes, forget the 9, it’s Windows 10. After the event, Microsoft took some time to talk about the company’s strategy when it comes to devices. If you can’t recall, Microsoft waived off license fees earlier this year for devices smaller than nine inches. This attracted a handful of manufacturers, and Microsoft listed a handful of them at Build as well. 

Microsoft’s Terry Myerson told Re/code the strategy is “going well,” and the company “will continue it.” He further added that since the announcement of the free Windows program, Microsoft has added 50 new manufacturers who’ve started making Windows and Windows phone devices. Switching away from this strategy doesn’t make any sense since the company has received a decent response from the hardware manufacturers, who are willing to introduce budget-friendly devices. 

We’ve seen several OEMs jumping on the Windows Phone bandwagon since the OS is free for them — unless they decide to really go big and launch a tablet-sized phone, which is not happening anytime soon. Most of them have launched budget-friendly devices in emerging markets, with dual-SIM capabilities, which are very popular. 

It’s not just smartphones, we’ve seen several tablets in the past few weeks, running full-scaled Windows 8.1 — HP even launched a $99 Windows 8.1 tablet last month, along with a bunch of $199 laptops. Furthermore, PC makers can even use the free version of Windows on their machines, which runs Microsoft’s Bing services. 

As for Windows 10, there’s no word about the pricing, licensing structure, or an exact availability date. Microsoft is expected to launch the new operating system in 2015, and during that time, we’re hoping to see some more leaks and information related to Windows 10 — leaked builds, etc.