Microsoft reportedly discounts smartphone licensing fees for OEMs who pre-install their apps


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We weren’t sure what Microsoft offered Samsung to convince them to pre-install their apps on Samsung’s latest phones and tablets, but new information reported by DigiTimes suggest a very valuable deal could have been made.

According to them, Microsoft has started offering OEMs discounts on smartphone licensing fees in exchange for getting Microsoft apps preloaded on their devices. If you’re not aware, Microsoft commands a great deal of essential mobile-related patents and force many Android manufacturers to pay for the privilege of using them.

They make a lot of money doing this, with estimates being anywhere between $7 to $15 per device. When you consider the hundreds of millions of Android devices sold by the top manufacturers, that’s a lot of dough (so much so that they actually make more money on Android’s success than they do their own mobile platform).

Lowering the price tag for companies who agree to install Microsoft apps is a very smart move. While it helps, Microsoft doesn’t really need the extra bit of revenue that they get from these deals.

In their quest to transition to a software and services company it’s increasingly important for customers to be exposed to these apps. It helps Microsoft capture mind share in the absence of market share. Some would say that is far more valuable than a few extra dollars being made for every Android device being sold, and they wouldn’t be wrong.

Whether this is the deal Samsung, Dell and the 9 other Android OEMs agreed to in order to accept Microsoft’s apps on their devices remains to be known, but we’re finding it hard to think of any other reason to get in bed with a company they don’t otherwise need to get in bed with to be successful.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I don’t really mind as long as you can uninstall them.

    1. Yea plus anything that lowers the cost of making phones is good for consumers

      1. Plus it’ll help in android not ending up in antitrust suits especially in Europe down the road

      2. I highly doubt that manufacturers are gonna lower the price.

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  2. Does this surprise anyone? Did anyone think Samsung was pre-loading MS crapware just for the heck of it? Companies pay to get their apps pre-loaded on devices, this isn’t any different.

  3. Licensing fees at a discounted rate? Why would an OEM even want to pay MS for licensing fees on software when there are alternatives that are free? That’s the whole point. MS still just doesn’t get it.

    1. The fees aren’t for software they are for patents almost all smartphones require for basic things that Microsoft holds.

  4. Vampire ms at work windoze is dieing so they another route

    1. So dumb, Microsoft earns millions from patents they already own, this is them using that to promote their services. Don’t know how you can pre-emptively ‘vampire’ something.

  5. seems like a win-win, the oems pay less, microsoft gets thier apps on a device, and we win in that often when a cloud service is included, be it box, dropbox, or one drive, a considerable amount of cloud storage is usually included.

  6. I will go even further. Give me 50% discount on an Android phone. And fill it entirely with Microsoft apps. The only thing I require is to leave the bootloader unlocked.

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