Microsoft is apparently giving away Windows Phone for free to certain handset makers, The Times of India is reporting. According to their findings which come from unnamed executives, the two of the country’s OEMs, Karbonn and Lava (Xolo), will both get the platform free of charge.
The move comes as part of the bigger strategy to compete against Android and bring Windows Phones to emerging markets. To that end, Microsoft made sure the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 will support a number of lower-end chips and on-screen buttons, allowing Android phone makers to use the same hardware for devices running Microsoft’s platform.
Karbonn is especially an interesting company which is reportedly planning to launch a dual-boot device, one that offers both Android and Windows Phone to its users. We’re still unsure when this phone will be out, and whether or not it will ever hit the Western hemisphere.
Going forward, the Redmond giant will have to do much more to entice an army of Android vendors into switching platforms. Although it managed to corner new partners, Microsoft is still miles away from Google in the mobile space and it remains to be seen how long will it take for Windows to catch up… if that’s really possible at this stage.