Microsoft Details the “Free Windows” Concept

Company exec says that this new program is aimed at boosting the number of Windows users

Windows for free is finally a dream that’s about to come true. Microsoft announced at the BUILD 2014 developer conference in San Francisco that Windows will be offered free of charge to OEMs building tablets and phones smaller than 9 inches in size, in an attempt clearly supposed to bring more devices running its modern platform to the market.

In a blog post following the opening keynote at BUILD 2014 in San Francisco, Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive vice president of Operating Systems, explained that offering Windows for free to manufactures is also expected to grow the overall number of users and boost the number of adopters for the modern platform.

“To accelerate the creation of great mobile devices running Windows and grow our number of users, we announced today that Windows will be available for 0 dollars to hardware partners for Windows Phones and tablets smaller than 9” in size,” he pointed out.

Right now, Windows 8 and 8.1 have a combined market share of around 11 percent, so it’s clear that every single campaign that can boost the number of users is really helpful.

Redmond also claims that making Windows free for such devices gives manufacturers the possibility to equip their devices with some other powerful software solutions, such as Office 365.

“These steps will help our partners to deliver the rich experience of Windows plus best-in-class hardware, software and services to consumers at affordable prices,” Myerson pointed out.

“For partners, this makes it easier to bring more compelling devices to market. For developers, this means more endpoints for their apps in a store that’s already growing at about 50% a year. And for consumers, it will mean a broader range of great smartphones and tablets at prices that will be competitive with anything on the market.”

The idea of offering Windows free of charge isn’t new, but we’re pretty sure that most users expected to see the operating system coming to the market with a freeware license from the get-go, which would basically mean that everyone would be allowed to install it without buying a license.

That’s not going to happen, however, as Microsoft still needs to monetize its flagship operating system as much as possible, so offering it free of charge isn’t the right way to maintain profitability.

Windows is becoming free of charge for OEMs starting today, so expect more affordable devices to hit the market this summer.

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