Microsoft's latest play for market share: cheap (or free) Windows for HTC Android phones

They want to make an impact in the growing mobile industry. They really do. Unfortunately, Microsoft has very little hopes of ever making it above third place in the operating system arena so they’re trying to coax HTC to let them put their software on Android phones for pretty much nil.

Microsoft Corp. is talking to HTC Corp. about adding its Windows operating system to HTC’s Android-based smartphones at little or no cost, people with knowledge of the matter said, evidence of the software maker’s struggle to gain ground in the mobile market.

Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s operating systems unit, asked HTC last month to load Windows Phone as a second option on handsets with Google Inc.’s rival software, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Myerson discussed cutting or eliminating the license fee to make the idea more attractive, the people said. The talks are preliminary and no decision has been made, two people said.

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