SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft might challenge Android by making its Windows Phone and Windows RT mobile operating systems free for device makers, no doubt in a bid to increase market share.
According to The Verge, sources "familiar with the matter" have said that Microsoft's plans to make future versions of its mobile platforms free are "under serious consideration" by the firm's EVP of operating systems Terry Myerson - who also reportedly is in the running for the Microsoft CEO job.
The Verge claims it was told that free versions of Windows RT and Windows Phone mobile operating systems will arrive at the same time as the rumoured Threshold project that we reported on Tuesday.
Threshold refers to a codename supposedly used by Microsoft that includes plans to bring back the Start Menu as we once knew it, in the Windows 8.2 service pack.
However, according to Winsupersite, the Windows 8.2 Start Menu might return only on desktop PCs as opposed to tablets like the Microsoft Surface, which run Windows RT.
Project Threshold is also likely to arrive along with updates to all three Microsoft operating system families - Windows and Windows RT, Windows Phone and Xbox One. It's also likely to come at the same time as a rumored merge of Microsoft's rather unsuccessful mobile OS Windows RT with Windows Phone.
One thing that might work for Microsoft in making Windows RT and Windows Phone free is that it might solve the problem Microsoft has with Nokia, in that it is depending on a single phone maker to push its Windows Phone OS.
However, the idea that Microsoft can steal some of Google's Android market share in smartphones seems rather far fetched at the moment. µ