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In a bid to challenge Google's Android operating system     

From The Inquirer:
Microsoft might challenge Android by making its Windows Phone and Windows RT mobile operating systems free for device makers, no doubt in a bid to increase market share.

According to The Verge, sources "familiar with the matter" have said that Microsoft's plans to make future versions of its mobile platforms free are "under serious consideration" by the firm's EVP of operating systems Terry Myerson - who also reportedly is in the running for the Microsoft CEO job.
  Microsoft might make Windows Phone and Windows RT free