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Microsoft paves way for cheaper Windows Phone handsets

Eliminates hardware restrictions; OS to be compatible with cheaper chipsets

Windows Phone handsets such as Nokia’s Lumia 1520 tend to be expensive because of restrictions in hardware design and the OS’ lack of compatibility with cheaper chipsets.
Windows Phone handsets such as Nokia’s Lumia 1520 tend to be expensive because of restrictions in hardware design and the OS’ lack of compatibility with cheaper chipsets.

Microsoft Corp has used Mobile World Congress to announce its intentions to make Windows Phone-based handsets cheaper, Reuters reported.

The company announced yesterday that it would make changes to its market-lagging mobile OS to make it compatible with cheaper chipsets.

Microsoft has now also eliminated the tight restrictions on hardware design that meant phone vendors had to adhere to a rigid handset specification, including the requirement for three physical buttons. Now that such demands have been dropped, vendors will have the flexibility of using cheaper components.

Android-based smartphones account for around 80% of the market and the Google-owned OS is especially common among low-cost models.

A number of new manufacturers have been attracted by the new proposals, according to Nick Parker, Microsoft's senior vice president for handset makers. Parker said that among those companies now intending to build Windows Phones are: South Korea's LG Electronics, India's Xola and Karbonn, and ZTE, Foxconn, Lenovo, Gionee and Longcheer.

"We are open for business on Windows Phone to anyone who wants to build a Windows phone," he said at MWC 2014.