by Anton Shilov
01/02/2014 | 11:38 PM
At present Sony Corp. only uses Google Android operating system for its smartphones. But this may soon change, a new market rumour suggests. In a bid to further diversify its family of handsets, Sony may adopt Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone operating system (OS) for its smartphones.
Microsoft Windows Phone OS has struggled to gain market share from Google Android and Apple iOS. Nokia Corp.’s Lumia smartphones currently command the largest part Windows Phone sales, something that undermines further expansion of platform’s usage (partly because Nokia’s smartphone division is to become a part of Microsoft in Q1 2014). However, it looks like there is a good news for Windows Phone: The Information web-site reports that Sony is set to adopt the operating system later in 2014. The first Sony smartphone with WP software is projected to be released as soon as in mid-2014.
Back in December it was reported that Microsoft was mulling to make Windows Phone and Windows RT operating systems free for device manufacturers starting from 2015. While software giant has never confirmed the plan to make Windows Phone and Windows RT free, there are a lot of rationalities in such a potential move. The key factors that call to make the mobile operating systems free are Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia as well as Windows RT’s failure to gain popularity among end-users.
Microsoft is about to gain Nokia’s devices and services business along with Lumia product line and hence become the world’s largest supplier of Windows Phone-based handsets with the world’s broadest family of WP-powered products. Such position greatly undermines any third party’s wish to license Windows Phone since eventually their devices end up competing against Microsoft itself and when it comes down to the price, Microsoft should always win since it owns the OS. At present hardware makers are simply afraid of competition from Microsoft on the handset market, which makes them invest more into the devices featuring Google Android. By making the OS free, the software giant just removes at least some of hardware makers’ fears.
By making Windows Phone and Windows RT free to device manufacturers, Microsoft will ensure that the platforms will not become its proprietary operating systems, which, given their low market share, means stagnation. Besides, it may hope that certain manufacturers will release dual-boot devices with Windows and Android.
Microsoft and Sony did not comment on the news-story.