Report: Microsoft waives Windows Phone fees for Indian handset makers

Microsoft has a history of charging steep licensing fees for Windows, but its philosophy may be changing. Last month, Bloomberg's sources told them Microsoft plans to cut OS pricing for sub-$250 devices. Now, a report out of India suggests at least two handset makers in that country will be allowed to use Windows Phone free of charge. Removing the OS licensing fee was apparently key to getting the handset makers onboard with the mobile OS.

Nokia reportedly shelled out $20-30 for each Windows Phone device back when it was making them exclusively. That's a hefty premium to pay for an operating system with a small user base and a limited app selection, especially on lower-cost handsets. I guess it didn't fly in India.

In related news, Chinese handset maker Huawei plans to offer Windows Phone and Android on the same device. Chief Marketing Officer Shao Yang told TrustedReviews that the dual-OS approach will make it easier for users to experiment with Windows Phone, and the concept sounds intriguing. The company's first dual-boot handset is due to hit the U.S. in the second quarter of this year. We don't know how much Huawei is paying Microsoft for the OS license, though.

I've heard a lot of good things about the latest versions of Windows Phone, and I've liked much of what I've seen of the OS in person. However, I can't see myself paying a premium for the experience—not when Android does such a good job. Microsoft may have to roll back Windows Phone fees on a broader scale if it wants to make a bigger dent in the mobile landscape. Thanks to Techmeme for the tip.

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