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Microsoft claims Android is more expensive than Windows Phone 7

Microsoft is due to launch its highly-anticipated Windows Phone 7 mobile OS soon, but it seems that the software giant has already started with its efforts to publicize its new platform. And what better way to do so than to take on Google’s own Android operating system?

Read on for more information.

Can something given away for free end up costing more in the long run? After all, common knowledge dictates that there is no such thing as a free lunch in this world, and Microsoft is seemingly making use of that by picking on Google’s practice of giving Android away to handset manufacturers for free.

According to an article on the Business Insider, a person who was very familiar with Microsoft’s mobile strategy claimed that Android is actually a lot more expensive that what Google claims it to be. In addition, the staff had even gone to great lengths to list out a several issues to justify his claim. Here is a summary of the issues brought up:

– Microsoft will protect its partners over IP-related lawsuits by handling and settling legal disputes on behalf of the OEM. Thus, OEMs do not have to worry about litigation or legal costs.

– Android is heavily fragmented, thus OEMs have to write their own device drivers and incur additional costs. In contrast, Windows Phone 7’s hardware guidelines allows smartphones to fully work right-out-of-the-box, because Microsoft has already provided the required drivers. 

– Windows Phone 7 has an abstraction layer which greatly simplifies the work needed in producing application updates, resulting in reduced costs. Android lacks this layer, thus, significant effort must be made to engineer updates for every subsequent Android release 

– OEMs for Android need to incur additional royalties for software such as productivity applications and multimedia codecs 
– Automated testing for Windows Phone 7 helps cut down on costs
– Windows Phone 7 is bundled with development software and various services like Xbox Live, services which are lacking on Android and must be built separately.

Apparently, these hidden costs are enough to exceed Windows Phone 7’s licensing cost of US$15 per phone when added together.

Unfortunately, the person did not provide actual numbers were given to back up the conclusion, so the validity of such claims is still a cause for dispute. That being said, Microsoft has brought up several highly relevant points to justify why its mobile OS will be better for OEMs, and issues such as development costs, licensing fees and IP-related lawsuits are indeed ares which tend to put a huge strain on an OEM’s resources.

However, just how much OEMs can expect to save with Windows Phone 7, and whether manufacturers will be receptive to Microsoft’s claims really remains to be seen. In a similar vein, it would rather interesting to see how Google would respond to such claims.

Source: Business Insider

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