Microsoft to compete, by giving itself away?

by Ed Sparks

The post-Ballmer changes are well underway at Microsoft, and so far we like what we see.  Hopefully the new CEO, in conjunction with what appears to be a pretty clued in group that's new feverishly backtracking and consolidating the products, can turn this giant ship around.

First we heard of the bringing back of the actual start menu (and let's hope the banishment of the ridiculous Start Screen on Server forever!).  Now numerous reports that - smartly - Microsoft is considering giving away Windows RT and Phone to OEMs.

Let's be honest: they're getting their butts kicked by Android and iOS, so this is better late than never move that removes a key advantage of the other platforms.  
Windows Phone is on the right track, but with little OEM support and a feature-set that offers precisely nothing to end-users over Android and iOS, this can't happen soon enough to hopefully encourage a better, larger ecosystem.

Oh while you're at it Microsoft, can we please have a notification centre already?

Let's get on it!

The Verge  Toms, and GigaOm all have more.