Microsoft recently announced a number of changes to its Windows 8.x and Windows Phone platforms that underscore its doubling down on Windows.
Breaking Friday was the news that Microsoft will lower the per-device cost to OEMs to ship Windows 8.x on less expensive devices. Bloomberg’s Dina Bass wrote that for devices that sell to consumers for $250 or less, Microsoft will charge $15 for use of Windows 8.1, a 70% decline on previous rates.
This allows OEMs to enjoy far stronger margins on low-cost Windows devices, making the Windows world more attractive to the ever margin-strapped device manufacturer world. Also, this brings the cost of Windows on cheap tablets more in line with the cost of Windows Phone on smartphones, an important change given the coming unification between the two core Windows platforms. Microsoft is still coy on the matter, but its executives have essentially laid the plan bare publicly.
This morning at Mobile World Congress Microsoft announced a sheaf of new product changes to both Windows 8.x and Windows Phone, including improvements to the core desktop experience of Windows proper, and aggressive moves to extend the...