Microsoft to drive down cost of Windows smartphones to reach wider audience

Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, is intending to drive down the cost of handsets which use its Windows Mobile operating system, in order to reach a much wider audience, the company revealed yesterday at the Mobile World Congress trade fair. Microsoft is easing restrictions on how handset makers use its mobile platform to encourage them to make cheaper phones. 

Microsoft recently announced a number of changes to its Windows 8.x and Windows Phone platforms that underscore it is doubling down on Windows. Breaking Friday was the news that Microsoft will lower the per-device cost to OEMs to ship Windows 8.x on less expensive devices. Bloomberg’s Dina Bass wrote that for devices that sell to consumers for $250 or less, Microsoft will charge $15 for use of Windows 8.1, a 70 percent decline on previous rates. This allows OEMs to enjoy far stronger margins on low-cost Windows devices, making the Windows world more attractive to the ever margin-strapped device manufacturer world. 

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