Rumor: Microsoft Making Windows Phone OS Free for Some Manufacturers

Desperate times, desperate measures: the Times of India is reporting that Microsoft is starting to give its Windows Phone OS away to phone manufacturers for free.

The report claims that two Indian phone manufacturers will have the usual licence fee for Windows Phone waived as they roll out new handsets toting the OS. "For our planned Windows Phone handsets, we are not paying Microsoft a licence fee," explained an executive of an undisclosed Indian phone company to the Times. "The company is obviously exploring new models for Windows Phone. It must have realized that the older model where it licensed the OS did not work out well, even with Nokia's support."

If the report is true, it's an unprecedented move. Microsoft hasn't even given Nokia a free license, instead charging it somewhere in the region of tens of dollars per Lumia handset. If it's starting to give Windows Phone away, it shows signs of frustrations that the mobile OS isn't working out as well as it hoped. Of course, it's not clear that the rumor is definitely correct, nor that it is a practice that will spread—but if it is true, it's an interesting development. [Times of India]