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Nokia Lumia 1020

Earlier this year, a rumor claimed that Microsoft was in talks with HTC about loading Windows Phone onto more of the Taiwanese firm's hardware, and in exchange Microsoft would reduce or eliminate the licensing fees associated with using its mobile operating system. Now it appears that Microsoft may be considering axing its licensing fees altogether in an effort to boost Windows adoption.

Sources speaking to The Verge claim that Microsoft and Windows head Terry Myerson are strongly considering dropping the licensing fees for both Windows Phone and Windows RT. No final decisions have been made quite yet, but the free versions of those platforms would reportedly come as part of a string of Windows platform updates codenamed "Threshold." In order to make up for the lost revenue, Microsoft is considering building ads into Windows 8 apps, pushing for subscriptions to services like Skydrive and Office and also relying on ad revenue from Bing search results.

While still very much a rumor at this point, dropping licensing fees for Windows Phone and Windows RT could be a smart move for Microsoft. There hasn't exactly been a wave of Windows RT-powered products hitting the market lately, and the soon-to-be-Microsoft-owned Nokia makes up the vast majority of Windows Phone hardware, so trading off licensing fees for the possibility of increased manufacturer adoption of both OSes would be worth it. There are a number of platforms fighting for third place in the Great Smartphone Race, and while Windows Phone has been doing alright, giving the OS away could get more device makers on board with it, get more handsets on the market and increase interest from both consumers and developers.

What do you think of this rumor? Should Microsoft drop its licensing fees for Windows Phone and Windows RT?

Via The Verge


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