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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

December 11, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Report: Microsoft may offer Windows RT and Windows Phone free to manufacturers

Microsoft has made much of its money over the years by charging manufacturers licensing fees for using Microsoft’s operating systems — whether Windows or Windows Phone — in the devices that they produce.

But that may change.

Microsoft is now considering offering its Windows RT tablet operating system and Windows Phone operating system for free to manufacturers, according to a report in The Verge.

Apparently that’s something Microsoft Operating Systems head Terry Myerson is seriously considering, according to The Verge, which cited “sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans.”

A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company “does not comment on rumors or speculation.”

The report says the free operating systems would likely come with Threshold, the codename for a range of updates across the company’s platforms.

The Threshold updates, reportedly slated for spring 2015, apparently are for Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone and “will advance them in a way to share even more common elements,” according to Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet who first reported about the Threshold updates.

Also perhaps coming with the Threshold update to Windows is a return of the Start menu and the ability to run Metro apps while in the desktop environment of Windows, according to Paul Thurrott‘s Supersite for Windows.

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: threshold

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