Microsoft: Android may cost more in the end than Windows Phone 7

Microsoft says Windows Phone 7 may wind up costing developers less than Android
Microsoft says Windows Phone 7 may wind up costing developers less than Android

The upcoming Microsoft Windows Phone 7 will still come with a licensing fee of about $15 per unit and that could seem odd in a world where open source alternatives like Android and Symbian can be had for no royalties. A Microsoft employee supposedly contacted AlleyInsider to say that the “free” label with Android and others can wind up costing handset makers more in the long run.

Because there’s no proper attribution to this source, you’ll have to apply your own level of skepticism, but some of these ring true. First of all, when you license Microsoft Windows Phone 7, you’re not at risk for the same IP lawsuits that may come with other platforms. We know that HTC is facing some legal action over some alleged Apple patents in its Android phones, although it is widely speculated that Google is helping HTC fight this.

Microsoft also says that by requiring Windows Phone 7 licensees to use hardware that fits into its chassis requirements, handset makers can spend less customizing each handset for different versions of Android. There had been some speculation that Android 3.0 will only come to devices that meet a minimum set of hardware requirements but that has been partially debunked. I’d still be surprised if the majority of Android devices received Gingerbread though.

Microsoft also argues that Windows Phone 7 comes with automated testing for quality assurance purposes. This is a solid point but companies can go to third-party providers like DeviceAnywhere for this type of service – that’s still an additional cost.

The company also makes another few arguments for Windows Phone 7 which don’t quite hold as much water, as it says that the “essential” mobile services like Office are already baked in and don’t cost additional license fees. It also says handset makers won’t have to invest in custom user interfaces like MotoBlur because of the Windows Phone 7 UI.

Some of these are salient points but others aren’t so much – I do know that nothing’s really free in this world. What do you guys and gals think?

[Via AlleyInsider, photo]

  • Lamont Cranston

    FUD, from the best

  • Sanna

    Microsoft is terrified of losing its monopoly

    • Ant


      This battle is almost over.
      Chrome OS drops on Black Friday.
      First step, tablets.
      Second step, laptop OS’s.
      Third step, complete world domination.

      What land is left for Google to conquer?

      I don’t know if I am more happy that the old giant is falling,
      or more intimidated of the massiveness of the new giant?

      • sit2k

        Microsoft will take back the market as it did when all the clowns in early 2000’s made fun of them when they went head to head with palm.

        xbox is the biggest gaming platform and guess what microsoft haters, xbox is built in.. as for multi-tasking, you may want to do some searches on youtube and see some example of multi-tasking that is already built into wp7.

        as for the moron thinking google will take over with chrome os, look at what happened to the linux netbooks. let me enlighten you a bit, the world will not drop everything for chrome just because it gets launched. all banks, government agencies and 90% of the users in the world use windows. google will fail and will fail in the mobile market in due time. just watch and see what MS will do the compitition.

        here’s a reference, ask sony and nintendo

  • vasra

    While the battle is far from over for nxt-gen mobile smart-OSes, I think MS is fighting an uphill battle with WP7. Granted they have the money, good consumer advertising reach, the brand and partner network.

    But their OS is the only one costing money, is lacking A LOT of features, is very late, starts from zero in terms of app market and is trying to turn the losing momentum of WM5-6 series.

    It’s not going to be easy for MS. I expect the first incarnation of WP7 to be a near-flop by MS standars (think Windows ME).

    It’ll take years for MS to get WP up-to-speed and competing against their customers.

    Who knows, if by then they have their cloud strategy implemented and they can actually lower the licensing fees of the WP os to near nothing (sub $1).

    • vasra

      Ooops, competing NOT against their customers, but their competitors.

      What was I thinking. Why would MS compete against their customers? Wait….


  • Sandor

    This article has nothing to do in the Android section…

  • trentreviso

    Classic Microsoft FUD.

    Our OS cost $$$ Megabucks but that’s actually CHEAPER than FREE! :dancingbanana: …and we just might sue you if you try to use anything else.

    Microsoft has lost its relevance. Time to move on to vendors who understand mobile computing and are able to field competitive products.

  • lreally

    Good try. But in spite of paying a 50cents per phone for a couple of silly IPs that MS holds, Android devices are indeed cheaper on the whole.

    Guess what, open source does bring down the cost in thousand other areas. Not to zero but makes it much more economic to use Android than an OS that costs $30 per phone to start with.

  • Don’t think it’s necessarily a Microsoft employee. The Business Insider article merely says, “a person familiar with Microsoft’s mobile strategy”.

    • marin

      Fair enough but my experience has told me that “sources familiar” are generally the company itself.

  • Harold

    WP7 missing a lot of features…What features besides copy and paste and a full multitasking is windows missing that is all that important to the average consumer…Microsoft did say it will add those features in an update after release including adobe flash 10.1. Just remember WP7 is ahead of the game on there first release than Android and Iphone ever was and people still bought the phone. Reason being is was something different. Well WP7 is something different and from what I seen in videos and reviews works smoothly. So if people are looking for a change and a different experience why not come to WP7. Don’t mention Youtube because what I saw in previous articles on the internet WP7 might have it. Also Until the phone is release to the public we don’t know what features MS might of added to the phone.

  • hinco

    WM7 has no business anymore on smartphones. i’ve been faithful to my BJ2 for almost a three yrs, i’ve enjoyed the android/iOS feeling, hell, even the BB and webOS as well, and by far winmo 6.1/6.5 are hell to glitchy and wm7 will be the same. they do not focus on the vital part of the phone, simple and enjoyable experience. i have a htc hd2, and i can’t wait to upgrade to a vibrant/captivate cuz it too damn glitchy n it has the same spec as the top of the line phone… this is windows handy work. they just suck.


    Microsoft …! Who are this guys?????? :))
    Go Android.

  • jeremy

    All of these extra costs that he claims companies will incur are costs of differentiating a product which is what makes one product sell over its competitor. His argument holds as much water as my grandmother’s hairnet.

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