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Businesses Cellphones Handhelds Microsoft Patents Your Rights Online

Microsoft Signs Android Patent Deal With HTC 174

Posted by timothy
from the patent-hook-or-patent-crook dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft and HTC have signed a patent deal that will provide broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for HTC's mobile phones running the Android mobile platform. The announcement comes in the wake of a massive patent suit from Apple, which alleged 20 instances of patent infringement on the part of HTC."
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Microsoft Signs Android Patent Deal With HTC

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  • I smell EVIL (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:36PM (#32018894)
    Don't you?
  • by butalearner (1235200) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:38PM (#32018922)

    Beneath that rhetoric of unity, however, is an implication that, given the chance, Microsoft may go after other Android handset manufacturers who infringe on its IP.

    Not likely. Once it goes to court their whole racketeering operation will have to shut down. Far better to bank out of court settlements based on vague threats than going the Apple route and listing the patents begging for invalidation.

  • Re:Too weird (Score:3, Insightful)

    by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:41PM (#32018952)

    Or maybe I'm stupid, and Microsoft is trying to use the threat of Apple's lawsuit to secure revenue on their own patents.

    You know, either way.

  • Re:Too weird (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MMInterface (1039102) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:42PM (#32018968)
    I think you are misunderstanding what MS is doing. What they are really saying is Android violates their patents, but HTC their biggest Windows Mobile partner is in the clear (from MS patents) with it's Android devices. Other OEMs that don't make similar deals may get sued by MS for using Android. I was wondering when MS would join this mobile patent orgy.
  • Sue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:43PM (#32018986)

    Google should sue anyone who makes a deal with Microsoft. Because what's the point if you have to pay Microsoft for using Android?

  • Re:Too weird (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tobyb (163448) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:00PM (#32019232)

    Agreed, I don't understand this thought process going around the web and this story that MS is protecting HTC from Apple. MS saw what Apple saw, HTC was the lowest hanging fruit of the OEMs. Now, if WinMo7 wins, MS wins. If Andriod wins, MS wins. There was always a question of how MS was going to compete against free. Well, that was answered. An OEM can either pay a license for WinMo7 from MS or get Android and pay a royalty to MS. Also, by settling, the infringing patents are not shown (unlike the rather ham handed move by Apple). FUD to other OEMs will do just fine, thank you.
    Nice move MS. First you have two horses in this race. Second, did it without having show your infringing patents. Finally, somehow got thousands of idiots on the web to believe that you are the good guys and just a another soldier by your side in the battle against Apple. That last move is what impresses me the most. MS PR department has really come a long way since the '90s. Welcome back MS. You are your best when you are evil.

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:03PM (#32019296)

    That may be, and it is understandable to be wary. However, I wonder if Microsoft is doing a different strategy, more along the lines of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend".

    If one looks at things objectively, in a corporate environment as of now, Android is not a threat to Windows Mobile. It does not have true memory card encryption which is required in a lot of enterprises. Nor can it really be bound to Exchange where it supports profiles like disabling cameras, limiting what software is installed (on Windows Mobile, companies can have their own signing key to only let apps that are vetted in house run,) and other items which might be used for regulatory compliance.

    I'm also sure that Microsoft knows that if HTC is crushed by Apple, then more people will end up on the iPhone. It is the lesser of two evils. Android which is limping along slowly but surely and suffering from fragmentation, versus the iPhone which has the ability to cause a lot of lock-in. It is easier to move a customer from Android to Windows Phone 7 than it is from the iPhone platform. So, by siding with the lesser of two evils, MS is preventing Apple from getting an overwhelming death grip on the market.

  • Re:Sue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:05PM (#32019332)

    What grounds is Google supposed to sue on? It's not like you can just sue people for pissing you off.

    That's beside the point though. Microsoft doesn't make phones. Microsoft makes a phone OS. It needs other companies to make the hardware, as does Google. Given that HTC seems to be the industry darling when it comes to producing hardware for 3rd party OS's these days, it's likely that Microsoft simply made a non-monetary agreement with HTC - if they keep making Windows phones, they are in the clear regarding MS patents for other systems.

  • by smitty97 (995791) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:07PM (#32019370)

    no, it's more like Episode V, when Lando tells Han that they've just signed "a deal that'll keep the empire out of here forever"

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:08PM (#32019406)

    Any of that would just lead to me buying from nokia. Plain and simple, iphone already is too locked down, windows is windows, and if android phone makers pull that crap I just will use this one till it dies then get a nokia.

    This stuff is just a way to put themselves out of business.

  • which one is farnsworth and which one is rca so i know who to root for?

    http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae408.cfm [physlink.com]

    ip law doesn't reward inventors. ip law rewards assholes with big pockets. as this case shows, ip law is a farce, its a way for big companies to waste a lot of money on lawyer whores

    if you are the little guy who thinks that copyright is for authors, and patents are for inventors, you're a fool

    ip law is for distributors and large corporations. real creators are screwed. stop being naive

    in the name of the highest ideals of western democracy, fuck ip law, it should be actively undermined and destroyed by anyone with morality and principles. we can't work through our governments and legislators, they're all whores to the patronage system. its up to the common man to destroy the entire rotten edifice

    i'm not talking about revolution or any such nonsense. i'm talking about piracy. i'm talking about hitting them in their wallets. with any luck, we can bankrupt the organizations that profit from the idea of "intellectual property", and thereby destroy the validity of the idea itself in anyone's eyes

    aarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

  • Re:Too weird (Score:3, Insightful)

    by radish (98371) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:15PM (#32019506) Homepage

    Google don't make hardware. The Nexus One is made by ... wait for it ... HTC.

  • by DWRECK18 (1796294) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:24PM (#32019724) Homepage
    I don't completely agree with this. For one Android is so much limping along slowly, so much as it is growing in the consumer division for those people who really don't want AT&T or Apple. I have seen many of a people choose an Android phone over Windows Mobile and iPhone. However you are right when you say the corporate problems that Android has. Android does not offer the type of security that Windows Mobile does when dealing with encryption standards, profiles, or anything you would need for the corporate infrustructure when dealing with PII. However, if you are looking at it from strictly a corporate standpoint wouldn't Blackberry be MS biggest competitor when dealing with that market as they have had a stranglehold on it due to what they support? As I have worked in both the DOD and DOE only the blackberry is used to sync to their network. So saying that Android is limping along is invalid, since if you look outside the corporate infrastructure they have done nothing but grow.
  • Re:I smell EVIL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nazsco (695026) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:50PM (#32020214) Journal

    > HTC is hedging their bets (a smart move), but will this lead to disparate Android UI's between platforms?

    No. This will result in crippled android devices and in return microsoft will not cut their piece of profits on the windows phones.

  • Re:I smell EVIL (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheTrueScotsman (1191887) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:51PM (#32020234)
    The fragmentation is only at the level of the top level GUI - almost like the difference between Windows Classic and the more recent styles. The apps will still run unchanged on all Android phones (assuming Android version compatibility) and that's the important thing.
  • Re:Novell? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:56PM (#32020304)

    is it FUD when every HTC andriod phone comes with an additional microsoft license fee? Is it FUD when people bust their ass coding software and MS comes along and charges for that software? Is it FUD now that any attempt to sell devices with Linux on it will result in a license fee? passed down to you? This is the REALITY not FUD. its REAL. And the more the Linux community buries their head in the sand and just write this off as FUD the more MS will run this extortion racket ala SCO behind their backs. Microsoft can go FUCK itself.

    Linux is no longer free in a commercial environment. If you run Linux you owe Microsoft money. That's the bottom line. Who the fuck woulda thunk?

    what this does is makes linux more expensive to deploy for manufactures than windows. And since Linux and company could not care less and really does not care Microsoft will win.

  • Re:I smell EVIL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @03:16PM (#32020754) Journal

    Given that some of the patents that Apple has invoked against HTC concern WinMo phones, it would seem that Microsoft has a stake in that fight alongside HTC.

  • Re:I smell EVIL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by radish (98371) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @03:32PM (#32021078) Homepage

    Agreed, it's semantics. But for me, if it allows me to choose the best solution for my needs it's diversity. If it hampers me and makes it hard to run what I want, it's fragmentation :) The problem is people who bought devices expecting (and in some cases being promised) upgrades who aren't getting them, and hence can't run specific apps. Say what you want about Apple, but at least an iPhone can run any app it has the appropriate hardware for - a consumer doesn't (yet!) have to worry about the OS version.

  • MS vs HTC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nite_Hawk (1304) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @03:52PM (#32021460) Homepage

    I doubt MS forced HTC's hand on this one. They've arguably been the only thing keeping windows mobile from being a complete failure. They've consistently released the best selling windows mobile phones with the best hardware and UIs available. Sure everyone likes getting money, but anything HTC can give MS is chump change. Hell, MS gives away money just for using bing to buy stuff. I imagine the untold details of this arrangement have much more to do with how HTC will help MS make WinMo7 succeed. MS needs a high quality phone line-up for WinMo7 and HTC has consistently given them that in the past. Who else can they realistically turn to? Sony? Motorola? Samsung? None of them were able to offer windows mobile phones that were nearly as compelling as HTC's.

    Interestingly enough we are seeing the same thing play out in the android universe. Other than the Droid HTC phones are dominating the field. It's in both Google and MS's best interests to keep HTC alive, happy and hopefully developing the best phones for their platform. It's no coincidence that Apple is targeting them.

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