Microsoft Adds ViewSonic, Acer to its Android Cash Grab


Microsoft has reached licensing agreements with ViewSonic and Acer that will see the two companies pay the computer giant an undisclosed fee for every Android device sold. The news, which Microsoft confirmed today, follows similar deals struck with companies such as HTC, deals that provide the software maker with an estimated three to five times the revenue earned from sales of their own Windows Phone platform. The licensing deals also cover upcoming devices using Google’s Chrome OS.

Microsoft is quick to point out that their method of solving intellectual property disputes is “commercially reasonable” to “address Android’s IP issues,” perhaps taking a jab at competitor Apple’s insistence on suing first, settling later. Microsoft is perfectly happy leaving the competition on the market — rather than forcing sales bans — provided they can turn a few dollars off of it.

[via BGR]

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  1. Greedy Pigs… Where are my Angry Birds?

  2. Ah, well, if you can’t build a better mousetrap . . .

  3. Classic MS, LOL! If your product isn’t succeeding then charge the competition to sell their own stuff!! GENIUS!!

  4. In a sea of completely mindless Google fan boys, I will point out that if MS didn’t have decent patents backing their IP claims then I doubt any of these OEMs would just license it. There’s obviously weight behind it and I think they are being reasonable given the alternatives in today’s mobile space. The patent system is broken nonetheless.

    1. I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’m not a mindless Google fan boy and the fact that Viewsonic and Acer settled with MS doesn’t mean that their patents or claims have merit. It just means that MS has the money and the resources to endure a long and expensive legal battle. Due to the screwed up patent system we have in the US it is cheaper to settle out of court.

      1. ViewSonic and Acer both have lawyers as well who no doubt reviewed this.
        I seriously doubt they would roll over and pay if microsoft didn’t have a very strong claim.

        1. Microsoft doesn’t need a strong claim.

          If they charge a low enough license fee, then it is cheaper to pay the extortionist rather than put up an expensive legal fight.

          1. that’s a ridiculous statement because if they didn’t have a strong enough case you can bet the company’s would fight it.
            this isn’t some hollywood movie or a deep conspiracy

          2. It’s not ridiculous. It’s basic math for business people.

            If it costs $100 Million to fight off the bully, but the bully will only charge you $10 Million in license (extortion) fees, then it is easy to consider paying the extortion as a cost of doing business.

            This is real life. No deep conspiracy or Hollywood movie.

    2. Good points, nice perspective, and a name that instills trust. :P

    3. ever heard of the Mafia charging businesses “protection” money so they don’t mysteriously disappear or get accidentally killed? Bill “Guido” Gates is here to help you to insure your company doesn’t get whacked.

    4. Viewsonic and Acer are small players that MS could easily bankrupt with a long drawn out legal battle. HTC has long been an MS partner dating back to WinCE, so they don’t want to upset that relationship.

    5. If you want to talk about mindless, go to BGR and check out the Apple fanboys. ;)

  5. Why cant Google remove the Microsoft patents, let say starting from Android Ice Cream Sandwich?

    Then they can stop paying Microsoft.

    1. Microsoft can just find more ridiculous patents that Android infringes on. Rinse. Repeat.

      The problem is with the broken patent system. It is simply IMPOSSIBLE for you, me or anyone else to write any non-trivial software that doesn’t infringe upon patents held by every major patent holder in existence.

  6. Well Acer and Viewsonic won’t bring them much money.

  7. I don’t get it….is it based on hardware patents, as in, their android product’s hardware is in violation or the OS? Or is it some custom skin over android?

    Because I don’t understand why other android companies don’t have to pay and/or why non-google based OS’ products do not have this MS tax….anyone care to enlighten me?

  8. Fuck you Microsoft.

  9. Let’s see and article of 141 words, 2 paragraphs. And people think they know what is going on regarding deals between large international corporations.

  10. difference between ms and Apple is Apple wants to bury you and ms just wants a couple bucks.

  11. I think all of these companies that are paying MS for Android also sell Windows products, and can’t afford to mess up the relationship.

  12. The difference is Apple wants to be the only player in the game which is unrealistic. I’m sure MS is much easier to work with than Apple.

  13. The only meaningful reaction is to boycott both Microsoft AND the companies that settled such outrageous contacts. Android is part of the Linux ecosystem and it belongs to the world. Microsoft is the most disgusting company in the tech world. Even worse than apple. It generates money out of the software patents system and this system as well said is broken and unethical to the core. You can google techrights to find out more of the microsoft and the like…

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