Microsoft Planning to Launch Free Windows Threshold Version for Tablets

Redmond could release free versions of Windows Phone and Windows RT in early 2015

By on December 11th, 2013 13:51 GMT

Microsoft has already started work on a new Windows update called Threshold and, although the company remains tight-lipped on the subject, new information emerges on a regular basis.

Now The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is pondering the possibility to offer free versions of Windows RT and Windows Phone as part of the Threshold rollout in an attempt to challenge Android and gain more users in the mobile sector.

Even though Threshold is supposed to bring together the tablet and the mobile phone operating systems, it turns out that Microsoft thinks that this isn’t enough, so it plans to make both of them free for manufacturers.

This basically means that OEMs that will be selling devices running Windows RT and Windows Phone will have no license costs related to the operating system, so it would be cheaper to develop such products and bring them to the market. This, in turn, would bring Microsoft a significant market share in the tablet and mobile phone sectors and would eventually allow the software giant to challenge Android.

Microsoft has promised to bring an avalanche of products running its modern platforms to the market ever since Windows 8 got to see daylight but, up until now, manufacturers have been fairly reticent when it came to adopting Windows RT, for example.

Some have even decided to abandon projects based on Windows RT and focus instead on the full version of Windows 8, including large companies such as Samsung.

Windows Threshold, on the other hand, is going to change this, as eliminating license fees would clearly open the door for many manufacturers looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of Windows.

Threshold is expected to launch in early 2015 and, among other improvements, it’s also expected to bring back the traditional Start Menu, in another attempt to get closer to buyers and boost sales of the desktop OS.

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