Bundling services into an operating system is a two-edged sword, a lesson with which Microsoft is having to come to grips. By including free, integrated apps and services like Office, Skype and OneDrive as part of its Windows and Windows Phone operating systems, Microsoft is offering users some decent freebies for taking the Microsoft plunge. But that practice also makes it trickier for Microsoft to monetize its own products. A couple of recent reports have suggested Microsoft is moving toward chopping the OS licensing fee for its Windows (and possibly also its Windows Phone) OEMs by a substantial amount. Earlier reports suggested Microsoft might go so far as to license its Windows Phone OS for free. If Microsoft does this, according to conventional wisdom, it can count on making up the difference by collecting revenue from OEMs and customers for its apps and services.
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