Microsoft is reported to have talked to HTC about adding its Windows operating system to HTC’s Android-based smartphones at little or no additional cost, as part of its drive to increase market share in the mobile market.
Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s operating systems unit, asked HTC last month to load Windows Phone as a second option on handsets, sources are quotes as saying. Myerson discussed cutting or eliminating the license fee to make the idea more attractive.
Talking of adding Windows as a second operating system is a new strategy for Micfrosoft and makes sense in the light of its partnership with HTC, the first company to make both Windows and Android phones.
Microsoft is also reported to be holding talks with other far east manufacturers in its quest for new partners. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer and other executives reportedly met with handset makers during a recent trip to Beijing.
Part of Microsoft’s current strategy appears to be to reassure other manufacturers that its recent purchase of Nokia’s smartphone business doesn’t mean it is cutting links with existing Windows licencees.
Microsoft charges handset makers a license fee for every Windows Phone sold, but it also collects royalties for devices that use Android as part of patent settlements. By contrast, makers of Android devices don’t pay Google, but install Google’s search and maps on Android-based phones as standard.