The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth rumour which suggests that Microsoft is going to drop the price of its Windows OS to go for the cheap and cheerful part of the mobile market.
Nokia is already attempting to sell low end smartphones, and was showing off Android-powered devices at MWC this year. But the word is that Microsoft is mulling a licensing fee price cut of up to 70 percent compared to what it currently charges to stick its OS on Nokia’s cheaper phones.
That price drop is coming, according to OEM smartphone maker Infosonics — which deals in low-cost Android devices.
The big idea is to make it possible for OEMs like Infosonics to build affordable Microsoft hardware that can compete with its budget Android devices.
This is not the first time we have heard such rumours. There was one that suggested that Vole was going to get rid of the licensing fee altogether and try to make the cash back from the phones. However since Vole makes a lot of dosh from licensing its desktop OS it is not give up that revenue stream completely. Licensing fees for Windows Phone were between $20 and $30 so a 70 percent cut would put new fees at roughly between $6 and $10 per unit.
Redmond has been having a quiet word with some low-cost manufacturing partners, including manufacturers in China and India and is working around what some see as prohibitive hardware minimum spec restrictions for Windows Phone.
If it manages to pull this off, then it could end up being a good rival to Android in the low end market in developing countries.
The Nokia X project could continue to survive as a way to get users committed to Microsoft services, and businesses used to integrated Volish projects.