Microsoft To Offer Windows For Free On Smartphones And Tablets, Universal App Development
Up until now, Microsoft was charging device makers around $5 to $15 per device to use Windows, while Google has always allowed Android to be installed for free. And, of course, Apple's iOS is baked into the entire ecosystem price when purchasing an iPad or iPhone. As of now, Windows-based phones only account for 3% or so of global smartphones, while Windows is only on 2% of tablets in use. Clearly, something drastic needed to be done, and this is it.
It's a massive statement from Microsoft, essentially ceding the point that it's losing the market share war on the mobile front. But pricing isn't the only factor here. One of the major complaints with Windows Phone is a dearth of apps, and Microsoft's helping on that front as well.
It's opening up developer tools that'll enable them to build programs that work across the entire Windows landscape, even including phones, tablets, and the Xbox One console.