Microsoft considers giving free Windows Phones to smartphone makers

Microsoft has dropped its licensing fees for at least two smartphone OEMs, according to a new report from The Times of India, making it much easier for those competing in low-cost markets to build devices sporting Redmond’s mobile OS. The manufacturers are Karbonn and Lava, both partners announced among a group of entry-level device makers that are getting into Windows Phone building as of MWC.

Microsoft has been considering offering a free version of Windows Phone to smartphone makers for months now, and it appears the company has signed its first free license deals recently. The Times of India reports that Microsoft is waiving the Windows Phone license fee for two Indian phone makers — Karbonn and Lava (Xolo). Both were recently announced as new Windows Phone makers, and currently create low-cost Android handsets. Microsoft has been reportedly talking to the pair since last year, but agreements to build Windows Phones only came after the license fee was dropped.

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