Microsoft makes Windows free for phones and tablets under 9-inches

Windows free for phones and tablets

Windows is now free for phones and tablets that feature touchscreens displays under 9-inches and the initiative is simply referred as “Windows for Internet of Things” — or Windows IoT for short –. Microsoft announced the news during the Build developer conference in San Francisco. The new move is hoped to help expand Windows mobile devices in the market dominated by Google and Apple.

This is an expected great news, as PC and phone makes will be able to build Windows Phone handsets and Windows tablets that have a more competitive price point, which will allow them to compete with Android tablets and phones, and iPad and iPhone.

In the past it was rumored that Microsoft was contemplating eliminating licensing fees to install Windows Phone software in new handsets. Huawei was one of the first companies said to received this new deal. Also the company was supposed to offer dual-boot Windows Phone and Android phones, but the plans were suddenly canceled.

Also recently, the company was experimenting to offer a version of the operating system called “Windows 8.1 with Bing” loaded with apps and services from Microsoft. But it’s not clear if today’s news is the result of all previous work. The new Windows free for phones and tablets is simply called “Windows for Internet of Things” and it’ll bundled Office 365 for a year free of charge.

Finally, Microsoft no too long ago slashed licensing fees to preinstall Windows 8.1 by 70 percent to fight back low-cost or cheap as less than $250 devices such as Google Chromebooks. In the past PC makers were paying $50 per copy of Windows, now with reductions they are only paying $15.

New Windows pricing

It’s a bit confusing, but I believe this is the new Windows license pricing model:

  • Windows Phone operating system is free.
  • Windows, the full version, is free for tablets with touchscreens of 9-inches of less.
  • Windows 8.1 with Bing, is a free version of the operating system aimed sale low-cost PCs under $250 to compete with Google’s Chromebook.
  • Windows, the full version, for PCs, laptops, Ultrabooks, and high-performance tablets will stay at the current price.


About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].