Microsoft's finally getting serious about making Windows Phone a legit mobile contender, and it's going to do it by making them way cheaper and easier to produce. Ballmer's boys are working with Qualcomm to get prices per phone under $200, less than half of the $400 they cost to build last year.
Qualcomm's the exclusive Windows Phone chipmaker, which means that Microsoft can work with it directly to make chips that work well with the Windows Phone software—similar to how Apple's hardware and software are so well integrated. It also means Microsoft can nudge the chipmaker to use make chips that are less expensive for phone manufacturers. That should mean lower prices for consumers, though whether the phone makers actually pass on the savings remains up to them. [BusinessWeek]