Microsoft promises cheaper Windows phones

Software king of the world, and now the proud new owner of Nokia, Microsoft is promising that there will be super cheap Windows phones in the shops soon.

While at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Microsoft’s Nick Parker, who handles the company’s partnerships with device makers, told PC World  the new handsets could be out by the end of the year.

Current models are between $400 and $699, the new phones would have price points in the sub $200 to $300 range.

He didn’t identify the manufacturers that would be bringing the phones to market, but are nine companies Microsoft signed up to its Windows Phone development program earlier this year.

These are Nokia, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Foxconn, Gionee, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE.

Microsoft hopes that some of its new chums will be able to use their significant market share in developing countries and these phones need lower prices to do well.

Microsoft launched the latest version of its Windows Phone operating system, Windows Phone 8, in late 2012 to critical praise but limited public interest. Windows Phone 8 has been slowly increasing its market share since and has about three percent of the market.

If Microsoft breaks into the developing market though with cheaper phones it could represent a huge payday for the company.

IDC forecasts Windows Phone will continue to increase its market share to hit 7 percent in 2018, but that is if things stay the same as they are now. What is fairly clearly that if Microsoft is going to make itself cheap and cheerful, it does not want things to stay the same.