Microsoft claim 50 new Windows phone and tablet OEMs

FierceWireless reports Terry Myerson, Microsoft executive vice president of the operating systems has announced that Microsoft has attracted 50 new Windows Phone and Tablet OEMs.

Referring to the policy of giving away the Windows OS for free for devices smaller than 9 inches, he said:

"It’s going well,I expect we will continue it."

Microsoft is looking to expand its market share in developing markets, but we have already seen many of these low-cost devices hit western markets also.

CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber told FierceWireless that Microsoft has secured more device partners since April and has worked with supply chain partners in China to lower the bill of materials costs for Windows tablets in China.

However, he said that there is still some question about the commitment of manufacturers to Windows Phone.  "As much they have ramped up the number of manufacturers who are supporting that platform, the question is still the depth of that commitment." Blaber said.  He added that real test of these commitments will be "the number of products and the volume we start to see coming in on the platform."

One element not often mentioned is that Microsoft is sharing Bing search profits with Windows OEMs who leave the search engine as the default on their devices, which can provide a stable source of on-going income to OEMs which can make up for the razor-thin margins on the new tablets and PCs.

Android One actually could spur Microsoft to drive Windows Phone prices even lower to provide OEMs and ODMs with an alternative at the low end of the market, Blaber said. "The reliance on Android isn’t healthy for OEMs," he said. "They do want and need diversity."

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