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Microsoft reportedly waives Windows phone licensing fees for two Indian OEMs

In an unprecedented move, Microsoft has dropped licensing fees from at least two Indian manufacturers Lava and Karbonn for using its Windows Phone operating system, reports Times of India. The company had announced at Mobile World Congress, that it had signed a licensing agreement with these manufacturers to release dual-boot handsets running on Android and Windows Phone. Multiple sources told TOI that Microsoft has been negotiating with Indian phone companies to produce affordable Windows Phone devices since last year. The agreement however, was signed only after Microsoft waved off Windows Phone licence fee. The publication quotes a senior executive as saying that free Windows Phone is part of a strategic partnership. "For both Microsoft and us, it is an experiment. Windows Phone still doesn't have lot of appeal in the market but now that it doesn't have any licence fee, it becomes easier for us to experiment with it," the executive said. This is a major shift in policy for a company that had depended on licensing fees for revenue. Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella had said that the company will focus on "mobile and cloud-first world" rather than the devices and services mantra adopted by former CEO Steve Ballmer. The latest deal seems to be exclusive to these smaller manufacturers who have an increasing marketshare in India as of now. It is not clear if the company plans to expand such a deal to mobile manufacturers around the world depending on the response to this concept in India. Nokia…

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