Microsoft is now offering Windows for free on phones and tablets to take on Google’s Android.
In a yet another scathing attack on its arch rivals, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has reduced Windows licensing free to $0 for smartphones and tablet makers, supposedly to proliferate its presence in the market further.
The grand announcement paved its way through the annual BUILD conference in San Francisco, where Microsoft reiterated its decision of a free Windows OS for devices that has a screen size of 9-inch or less.
Until now, Microsoft used to charge its phone and tablet makers, anywhere, about $5 to $15 for using the Windows platform. In addition, Microsoft adds about $2 billion per year in revenue from Android patent royalties. This was totally in support of Bill Gates’ notions of software industry; software should be paid for. Ironically, the very strategy that pushed Microsoft to great heights ended up fueling a change that is in complete contrast to it.
Microsoft’s momentous move is bound to make things shady for Android. Android’s open-source characteristics have bolstered a rather powerful stand in the market, hence making it the most popular operating system for mobile and tablets. Android has over 75% of smartphones sold last year in its garb in contrast to Microsoft’s dismal 3%, with tablets accounting to a minimal 2%. Therefore, Microsoft has now officially decked up for a major overhaul in its strategy, Google’s Android is likely to suffer a blow.
“We really want to get this platform out there,” Terry Myerson, Head of Operation Department at Microsoft said. “We want to remove all the friction between you [developers] and creating these devices, remove any hesitation you may have about applying that creativity to creating new Internet of Things devices.”
The move marches at the technical carpet a week later when the CEO Satya Nadella announced Microsoft Office for iPad. In a hope to lure consumers by offering a free Windows OS, Microsoft is also trying to rope in more audience for its cloud based services – Skype and Office.
Will users make a switch from Android to Windows? Well, the daunting predicament still has loads of questions to answer.