Microsoft to Charge for Windows Phone 7

The Web is buzzing about Microsoft's new mobile OS, Windows Phone 7. With a sexy and sleek UI, it seems Microsoft has finally gotten it right and is now able to compete with the bigger players like Apple and Google (Android). However, design aside, it would seem Microsoft's WP7 is at a disadvantage already; it's not free.

The Business Insider reports that, during his keynote speech, Steve Ballmer said Microsoft's business model for Windows Mobile would remain the same. Yes, despite the fact that the company was introducing a completely new operating system that couldn't be more different from Windows Mobile, the company would be sticking with the WinMo business model. This includes imposing a fee upon phone manufacturers who wish to license WP7.

"I think there's something clean and simple and easy to understand about our model," Ballmer said. "We build something, we sell that thing." He added, "I think it's not only in our best interests, but it's ... a simple model that's easy for developers, handset manufacturers, and our operator partners to deal with, to understand, and to build from."

You'd assume that choosing to charge would be a deterrent for manufacturers but according to Ballmer, several WP7 partners already have phones in the works; on Monday, Microsoft has said Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC, HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm are all on board. HTC will release its first WP7 phone before the end of the year.

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  • Raishi
    Can't say I'm surprised. Microsoft is a standard software company with a standard business model. Steve Ballmer pretty much put it as simply as possible. They make software, they sell software. I don't really see anyone expecting them to give it away for free.

    Google can afford to give much of their software away for free because they have a very different business model; the vast majority of their profits comes from advertising revenue.

    Despite the comments that I'm sure are coming as always, this difference does not make Microsoft evil. It does make Google's software look quite appealing, though.
  • mjello
    Well... WinMobile might cost money but at least there is great support incl. in that fee for phone developers. I dont know how the socalled free operating systems work. But no operating system is actually free to develop a phone for. Either you spend time aka. paychecks solving the problems yourself or pay someone to do it.
  • back_by_demand
    If I get a new WP7 device next year, I wont really be paying for the OS, it will be included in the monthly rental from the carrier. If I consider the cost vs the phone and service to be value then I wont care if the cost of the OS is included in the rental.
  • Other Comments
  • Raishi
    Can't say I'm surprised. Microsoft is a standard software company with a standard business model. Steve Ballmer pretty much put it as simply as possible. They make software, they sell software. I don't really see anyone expecting them to give it away for free.

    Google can afford to give much of their software away for free because they have a very different business model; the vast majority of their profits comes from advertising revenue.

    Despite the comments that I'm sure are coming as always, this difference does not make Microsoft evil. It does make Google's software look quite appealing, though.
  • drksilenc
    or they could just do the same thing that google is doing with there phone and use it as a profit generator for bing... idk that just makes alot more sence than driving up the cost of the phone another 1-2 hundred dollars... its not like they are just a software company ither... that may be there core buisness model and why bing costs more to run than its worth but what ever this is balmer
  • mjello
    Well... WinMobile might cost money but at least there is great support incl. in that fee for phone developers. I dont know how the socalled free operating systems work. But no operating system is actually free to develop a phone for. Either you spend time aka. paychecks solving the problems yourself or pay someone to do it.