Sep, 28 2011

Samsung and Microsoft have settled on an agreement for patent royalties and cross licensing. In short, Samsung pays Microsoft money for every Android smartphone sold to use their patents and Microsoft also gets free access to Samsung’s patents. Kind of lopsided if you ask me.

Microsoft also has HTC to bring money in for every Android smartphone of theirs sold. If you don’t remember, elementary math once suggested that Microsoft is making more money on Android phones sold than Windows phones sold. That’s probably a good thing for Microsoft, but the rest of the industry prefer to see it the other way around. It’s almost embarrassing for them, in fact. A statement from Microsoft:

We recognize that some businesses and commentators – Google chief among them – have complained about the potential impact of patents on Android and software innovation. To them, we say this: look at today’s announcement. If industry leaders such as Samsung and HTC can enter into these agreements, doesn’t this provide a clear path forward?

What did I get out of that statement?

Patent lawsuits won’t end Android. In fact, we don’t want it to end! We’d rather make money on the countless OEMs using Android due to the patents we own! Surely that’ll help ease the sting of our own smartphone operating system currently at the bottom of the totem pole. Oh, and we don’t know how long it’ll take for Windows Phone 7 to be successful, if ever. So yeah, we’re capitalizing on you now and forever. Thanks for your money!

I’m sorry for my satire, but it’s really annoying to see this. Microsoft’s seemingly strong-arming their own partners into these lopsided patent agreements for no reason other than to make money. It’s not about innovation for them. They’re aiming to ruin what was so attractive about Android to OEMs in the first place, and that was that this operating system was free not only in the sense of open software, but in licensing. Shame on you, Microsoft. [Source]

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