Free Windows attracts 50 new tablet and phone makers

Microsoft’s decision to give away Windows licenses free on mobile devices has paid off big time, the company has claimed.

Since deciding to waive operating system fees for all devices with screens smaller than 9in, 50 new manufacturers have joined its partner programme, Terry Myerson, executive VP of operating systems at Microsoft, told Re/code.

Myerson said the sign-up rate was “going well” and that he expected it would continue to do so.

The company announced the plan to drop OS licensing fees on phones and tablets at its Build conference back in April.

At the time, Microsoft said it was “evolving its Windows business model to enable partners to offer lower-cost devices”, making them more competitive in the mobile device market.

The move has meant Windows Phone is now cheaper for manufacturers to use than Android.

While Myerson didn’t state who these 50 were, it’s a fairly safe bet they are companies selling devices in emerging markets.

While Chinese company ZTE has been producing Windows Phones for some time, new sign-ups with Windows 8.1 included Indian firms Micromax and Xolo, Pakistani manufacturer QMobile, and Filipino OEM Cherry Mobile.

One Windows

During the launch of Windows 10 last night, Myerson revealed the company’s latest operating system will work across all devices, including phones and tablets, rather than being constrained to desktops, laptops and hybrids.

While phones won’t have the traditional desktop UI, customers will be able to use all the “universal apps” available to Windows 10.

Windows 10 is expected to be publicly available in mid-2015.

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