Microsoft and Qualcomm create a Windows Phone reference design

While Google appears to be relatively flexible when it comes to Android OEMs choosing their own hardware, Microsoft has adopted a stricter approach which typically required their manufacturing partners to follow a set of hardware guidelines, as well as to have their chosen hardware pre-approved by Microsoft before they would be released into the market. 

If you’re a handset maker looking to pump out some easy and cheap Windows phones, then Microsoft and Qualcomm might just have the thing for you. At Mobile World Congress Sunday the pair announced a new reference design program, which supplies the baseline hardware, optimized software and even development tools and content to get a new WP8 phone on to store shelves quickly. “It makes it a lot easier to bring devices to market because [companies] can leverage our engineering expertise,” Qualcomm Technologies VP of marketing Tim McDonough said in an interview ahead of the announcement.

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