Nikon licenses Microsoft patent to use Android on cameras


Microsoft has made quite the reputation for itself in these patent wars. Its most notable claim to infamy in the mobile space has been the ability to strong-arm several Android manufacturers into paying a licensing fee for every device sold. Now, it looks to be getting another piece from the point-and-shoot camera pie.

Renown camera manufacturer Nikon has come to agreement with Microsoft to enable them to make Android-based cameras. The terms and amount of the deal weren’t enclosed, of course, but Microsoft will likely receive a small stipend for every device sold running Android. Since Nikon already has one on the market with the Coolpix S800C there might be some back-pay going to Microsoft, as well.

We’re not sure how much further Nikon is looking to go with the “Android on cameras” experiment, but you know we aren’t complaining to see more manufacturers get on the train. It’s just a shame that Microsoft has its hands in the pockets of nearly anyone who tries to come near Android. Still, these OEMs see the platform for what it is — the fastest growing mobile operating system ever, and one that commands a vast majority of the market. A few dollars for each device sold won’t hurt too bad in the grand scheme of things.

[via Microsoft]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I admire Nikon and other companies that strike deals to use specific patents rather than pretending they don’t exist and then fight it out in court.

    1. I agree, Microsoft and Apple pretending that standard-essential patents don’t need to be licensed and then whining in court about excessive fees is just juvenile.

      1. You mean Samsung and Apple…..because MS and Apple have a pretty good patent relationship.

  2. I still hate how OEMs need to pay Microsoft for a licence on something they didn’t even develop. It just isn’t right.

    1. blame the system.

      1. That’s deep, man. Thanks for sharing some powerful insight. I envy your intellectual firepower.

    2. Microsoft has its hands in corruption in almost every countrie’s government, so its understandable…

  3. Microsoft is pathetic.

    Windows Phone is DEAD. Period.
    Windows sinks.
    Nobody wants lumias, nokias, offices and ugly new Windows logo.

    First it collects fees for its 1 deep internal patent like it is a patent covering the word “INNOVATION”, then it asks(pays?) SAMSUNG to show ugly (it’s ugly, let’s be honest) WP8 on SAMSUNG’s FLEXIBLE display during the electronics show this year. It’s SAMSUNG’s PATENTED innovations, not Microsoft’s!

    MSFT = NO.

    1. nothing wrong with microsoft or windows. You sound like a 15 year old bieber fan.

      Nikon approached them. Blame the system. Microsoft is no different than google, sony, canon, apple or so on in this arena. Because this is an android site, you’ll see stories related to android and the patents that are involved. Google licenses their technology quite often, but you won’t hear about it here. You’d hear about it on Apple, Microsoft, db and generic IT fansites quite a bit though.

      Quit whining.

    2. It doesn’t matter if Windows Phone is dead. Microsoft makes more money on Android than on WP. Btw, I happen to like the Lumia 920. Not as useful as my Nexus 4 but it’s a darn nice device.

  4. I think it would be interesting to see this make it into a high end DSLR body. I know of several photographers who use their cell phone to take a photo of the camera display and then post it as a “sneak peek” of the shots to come. This would eliminate the middle man in the process.

    I understand it’s basically the idea of the Samsung Galaxy phone, etc, but in a DSLR body, this could get very interesting.

    1. old timer. They use phones and tablets as remotes (blue tooth, ir and usb) to control DSLR, for live screen (dslr film) and for reviews.

    2. the Nikon D3200 comes with a wi-fi adapter that will allow you to use your phone (once you’ve installed the free Nikon app) to take shots remotely (within wi-fi range), upload the pics to your phone … the D3200 isn’t the first and only, it’s just the one I have so I know first hand

  5. ms the biggest mafia company in the world

    1. Apple is. WHen is the last time you heard Apple giving to charity, cancer research, dealing with schools directly for education? Exactly. Microsoft founder started his foundation with his own seed money and still uses Microsoft to funnel money into it for R&D, charity and more. Microsoft has done just as well if not more behind the scenes in technology than any of the other main players on the stage.

      The “old” hatred of Microsoft is so stale. People need to move on and realize there are worse entities in the world. Take off your blinders and quit being ignorant. This isn’t Vista or WinME. That ship sailed. Grow up.

      1. WIndows 8 is turning into the next Vista/WInME 98 non second edition

      2. Your mixing Bill’s charity with Microsoft, the two are not same. How many times has MS partnered with a small company for their technology, stole the tech without paying, and then forced the small company to sue to be paid? Let me help you, countless times. Why does every major browser vendor provide their newest browser version for windows XP, but MS own IE is only available to XP in a 4 year old and 2 major releases behind browser that make user experience terrible and web development more costly?

        The company got the desktop OS out the door first and made it operate on generic hardware. They’ve had the market cornered ever since by beating up on the small guys and holding back technology innovation by locking business and individuals into their mostly underwhelming software.

      3. Bill Gates is not such a noble man. His foundation’s work around education in the U.S. has little-to-nothing to do with charity. It’s all politics. The Bill and Belinda Gates foundation is dedicated to a right-wing, neoliberal transformation of the public education system in the United States. It won’t look so “public” if and when they succeed.

        And if you’re taking a systemic view of corporate behavior, than how do you rationalize attributing malevolence to Apple’s behavior? How do you explain making a systems-level argument to explain Microsoft’s behavior but a unit-level “Apple is evil” argument to explain Apple’s behavior? It doesn’t seem to hold up.

        And you can’t just take “the system” as a pre-determined variable. You can attribute Microsoft’s behavior to the system, but you also need to look at Microsoft’s role in shaping the system. They exercise a significant amount of political power and use that power to shape the system (i.e. legislation, regulatory attitudes, etc.) to its own benefit. Let’s not pretend that actors within a system cannot play a role in influencing its structure and thus its behavioral outcomes.

  6. and what android patent does microsoft have? specifically?

    1. There are speculations it has to do with Microsofts patents on FAT and ActiveSync among others.

  7. ms==parasite

  8. Huh? That doesn’t make any sense. Why would one need to ask Microsoft to license patents to use Android? What Android parts are infringing on Microsoft patents?

    1. There are speculations it has to do with Microsofts patents on FAT and ActiveSync among others.

      1. Ah!! OK. So I’d assume Google is also licening these same patents as well? If so, this article would be a little deceiving the way it’s titled and written. LoL!!

        But I understand what you’re saying.

        1. I think it’s hardware related so Google is not affected. But from what I’ve read, Motorola is the only Android manufacturer refusing to pay MS any licensing fees. It’s one of the ongoing court battles between MS and Motorola.

  9. No it hurts cause a closed source company is making money off Open Source.

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