Microsoft has put a lot of effort into its Windows Phone OS. Yet, the platform lags far behind other contenders like iOS and Android. To patch this gap, Microsoft is now considering offering the Windows Phone OS for free.
The problem with iOS is that it has a huge headstart over Windows Phone. Android, on the other hand, is free which makes the cost of manufacturing Android handsets significantly lower. That is precisely the reason why Android is becoming increasingly popular in emerging markets such as India.
It is in view of this that Microsoft is considering offering its mobile OS for free. The company has apparently been in talks with Indian phone companies. The aim of these talks is to devise a way of creating more affordable Windows Phone handsets, almost at par with the Android offerings. Since Android is the largest smartphone market shareholder in India, Microsoft is certainly in for some stiff competition.
To have any success, Microsoft will inevitably have to offer its Windows Phone OS for free. Nearly all analysts agree that the future of smartphone sales and success is in the emerging markets where the demand is fast skyrocketing. Markets like India and China has hundreds of millions of potential users and the competition is only starting there.
But to make any difference, Microsoft will need to get a firm foothold into these markets within a year or so. If the company collaborates with Indian companies, for instance, and offers free Windows Phone OS to create cheaper handsets, it may become a significant contender in the market. The company is also considering trimming down its licensing fees for other hardware, such as low-priced Windows 8 tablets. Let’s see how this strategy works out for the company.