Windows for Internet of Things : Microsoft Unveils A Free Windows OS
A giant and bold step for Microsoft. This is what many tech analysts say about the decision of the software giant in releasing a free version of the Windows Operating System.
Microsoft announced in San Francisco, during its recent software developer conference held annually that a new Operating System called ?Windows for Internet of Things? (I cannot spot any ?acronym in use? for now so I will just refer to it as WIT) will be offered for free, with certain conditions.
This new OS will be licensed for free if manufacturers of hardware will use it on devices that contain displays or screens that are smaller than 9 inches.
Analysts say that this puts Microsoft head on with another free operating system for ?small display? devices ? Android.
Android is the free mobile OS of Google which is currently the most widely used OS for wearables and smartphones. Since the code for Android is open source, any developer can use it without spending a cent. Microsoft, however charges manufacturers approximately US$10 for every device that installs its Windows Phone OS.
With WIT, device and gadget manufacturers now have another option and will not be forced to use the free Android OS.
For larger devices like tablets and PCs, Microsoft will continue to charge licensing fees for its Windows OS.
Analysts add that as other companies, like Apple, move towards a more affordable or free operating systems to power devices, Microsoft has been forced to re-think its license fees set-up in order to increase the number of gadgets and devices that use its OS.
It is assumed by developers that WIT will use the same code base used for the Windows Phone 8 OS and that it will only work for mobile applications.
An additional surprise however was sprung by Microsoft in another announcement.
The company also revealed a new application building system that will not only work on Windows and Windows Phone, but in Xbox as well.
This development indicates that it is possible for Microsoft to establish a connection with all these devices ? PCs, tablets, smartphones, wearables and even Xbox ? to make a unified OS for developers and users.
It was not clear however, if this system would be downloadable by independent developers of even plain device users just like the Android operating system.
No mention was made about turning the code into an open source system. Developers expected this as they knew Microsoft would want to protect the security of the code and prevent hackers from messing with it.
Industry analysts have said that this latest “moves” by Microsoft proves that the company is very serious in competing in the mobile arena and will surely give Google and Apple some stiff competition in the months ahead.
They added that it will not be easy for Microsoft, as ?software licensing, has been a major profit center for the company but its transformation to a more ?Google-like? company that will rely more on other sources of income (like Cloud services), bodes well for its future.
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