Microsoft on Wednesday announced at Build 2014 that it will offer Windows, including Windows Phone, for free to any device that has a screen size of less than 9 inches. Terry Myerson, head of the operating systems division in Microsoft, also said that Windows will be free for Internet of Things devices, the small gadgets that will have ability to connect to the web and process information.
This comes as a surprise because Microsoft seems to be breaking its long tradition licensing the software products and has thrived due to the licence fee it collects from computer makers. Perhapes it is taking some cue from the rising popularity of Android OS which is free and has dominated the mobile market in past few years. Also last year Apple’s announcement of offering OS X Mavericks to all the Mac users for free took the industry by surprise.
The OS will be offered to all the Microsoft’s hardware partners for free and will come preinstalled on small screen devices — phones and tablets. Also earlier month it was reported that Microsoft would offer Windows Phone OS free to Indian mobile manufacturers Lava and Karbonn
With Apple and Google taking away the market share from Windows in the world of computers with iOS and Android devices, Microsoft was toying with the idea doing away with licence fee for Windows. Recently, industry sources in Indian phone market told TOI that Microsoft would offer Windows Phone free to Lava and Karbonn.