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Microsoft Android Operating Systems Patents Your Rights Online

Nikon Buckles To Microsoft, Will Pay "Android Tax" For Smart Cameras 272

walterbyrd writes with news that Nikon is the latest company to agree to pay Microsoft for the privilege of using Android on its devices — as you might expect from Nikon, the devices in this case are cameras. (Microsoft's press release.)
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Nikon Buckles To Microsoft, Will Pay "Android Tax" For Smart Cameras

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  • Goodbye Nikon (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Freshly Exhumed ( 105597 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:35PM (#42990421) Homepage

    One less brand to ever appear on my shopping list.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:06PM (#42990629)

    The real target of all this bullshit from Microsoft is the use of firmware with software other than what comes from Redmond, period. Face it Microsoft has been squeezed out of the embedded market largely because of the flexibility of OSS and the Linux kernel.

    The best and only solution is for manufactures to turn on the bastards and stop using fat and ntfs period or charge more for devices that do.

    This could easily be accomplished by providing a software tool with the cheaper devices to read write to Windows without the use of fat or ntfs. If Samsung, Nikon, Sony, Toshiba, Canon and all the other manufacturers got together and created a formatting tool for storage that they shared this could easily be accomplished.

    Having one company dictate the format in which all portable storage devices read and write is the problem and the bastards in Redmond need to be held to task and given a full financial enema for a change.

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:15PM (#42990681) Homepage

    Why isn't Google sticking up for Android?

  • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:19PM (#42990705)
    There are a couple of problems. One is that using a different file system is quite inconvenient, since it requires installation of additional software. It also probably wouldn't solve the problem, since MS has a ton of bullshit patents. The real solution is to drop the Antitrust hammer down, probably in Europe.
  • Re:Oy Vey (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ilguido ( 1704434 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:38PM (#42990831)
    That's because while some don't like the patent system at large, many, I'd say the majority, find the software patent system despicable. This article is about the latter.

    Moreover this is a friendly reminder for all those who think that the Xbox/Xbox 360 makes money: the royalties from mobile system patents are collected by the EDD, those, and not the Xbox, counterbalance the losses of Windows Phone.
  • Grow up, kid. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:43PM (#42990873)

    You callin' this "extortion"? That's a big word, my friend. 'Round here we just call it biz niss.

    Nikon is a big boy now and can take care of itself.

    Founded in 1917 and a core component of the Japanese industrial cartel Mitsubishi.

    You do know Mitsubishi? Employs 350,000 people? Rakes in about $350 Billion in revenues each year?

    In a mature industry, all Android-related patents would be pooled, managed and cross-licensed to stabilize the business and the product.

    No need to build your own customized portfolio. That hasn't happened yet and the geek won't like it when it does ---- any more than he likes the dominance of the MPEG LA pools in video compression.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:00PM (#42990981) Homepage Journal

    even the original MS-DOS circa 1981 was at best a workalike knockoff of CP/M that they bought in from someone else

    If Oracle beats Google on appeal, then DRDOS Inc. has a case against Microsoft. The maker of CP/M reworked CP/M-86 into DR-DOS.

  • Karma Bites Nikon (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:02PM (#42990997)
    I can't help but think this is just a bit of karma comeback for Nikon. A few years ago, they decided to change their RAW file format to NEF (Nikon Encrypted Format), which could be read by nothing but their own software. They graciously allowed MS, Adobe and all to purchase licenses, so that Photoshop and such could read and work with the new .nef files. To be fair, Pentax, Canon and everyone seems to be doing this now.
  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:09PM (#42991041)

    >Help me understand - you are mad at the victim?

    The problem with danegeld is that you never get rid of the Dane.

    Paying off Microsoft is the absolutely wrong "solution" to this and only emboldens Microsoft. Microsoft can point at all these people paying danegeld and say "hey, you have to pay too."

    It's why we all got mad at people who paid SCO for their extortion.

    Fuck Microsoft, but also fuck Nikon for financing their extortion.


  • Re:Goodbye Nikon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RazorSharp ( 1418697 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:10PM (#42991051)

    Wow! Using your income as a tool for protest. You're so fucking cool! As if anyone gives a shit what you buy with your meager salary.

    Wow! You're so fucking cool! Using /. posts to mock those who take a moral stand! As if anyone gives a shit about your apathy and lack of concern for matters of right and wrong.

    People don't use their income as a tool for protest because they think they're going to change things. They do so because financially supporting unethical actions is unethical itself, whether the effect is great or small. Go back under your bridge.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:26PM (#42991147) Journal

    Won't work because as long as 90%+ of the PCs out there (which is what folks are gonna want to get those pics on to for editing and sharing) run Windows getting rid of support for MSFT file systems would be slitting your own throat.

    Now as for WHY does MSFT and Apple own 90% and 10% respectively and every other OS not even owns above the margin for error? I will get hate but truth is truth, nobody has offered a compelling product with the ease of use of OSX and Windows. Even Win 8 and Vista, as shitty as they are/were is a better OS than Linux because of the devs breaking shit with itch scratching (Yeah just throw out KDE 3 and gnome 2 when shit FINALLY gets good and stable, oh and crap all over audio by replacing ALSA with Pulse, that's the ticket!) and its obvious that Google isn't any "nicer" than Apple and MSFT and by refusing to make ChromeOS anything more than a glorified thin client has made it clear they don't give a shit about the PC market.

    So until you come out with a product that is truly better and easier to use than Windows you can give it up Chuck, any camera manufacturer that charged more or refused to support NTFS and FAT would get slaughtered by those like Nikon who will just write this off as a cost of doing business and keep right on selling their cameras.

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @06:03PM (#42991661)

    Nikon could skirt the patent by using EXT2/3 on their disks and include a driver for EXT2/3 for Windows and OSX. Because such things already exist. It's not like Windows users aren't used to installing drivers already.

    But that makes too much sense.

    Why device manufacturers insist on using VFAT and FAT64 boggles my mind.

    This whole situation is just pure laziness, and a reason why people should point and laugh at Nikon for paying danegeld.


  • by NeilBryant ( 2668997 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @07:00PM (#42992041)
    Personally, I've used MS Office since 2.0. I've taught classes in many versions. If I go boot up Word on my work machine, now, I can't find a flipping thing. It's easier to get around in LibreOffice. And all that time I spent getting good at Office feel like as big a waste of time as VisualBasic.
  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @11:35PM (#42993389)

    I think Google buying Motorola was clearly a defensive move. Google was attempting to protect itself from the most vicious patent trolls, and scam artists in the business, namely Apple, Oracle, and Microsoft.

    Who has Google extorted, and how?

  • Re:Hey buddy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 ) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:13AM (#42994033)

    It's pretty widely known now that MS is extorting money almost exclusively for its ancient FAT filesystem patents.

    It might be pretty widely known, but it is also pretty widely wrong. Microsoft has a massive portfolio of patents which can be used against Android, a lot of which is just useless user interface minutia. If you look at the bottom of the press release [] it distinguishes between Android patents and exFAT patent agreements. You can see an example of the kind of the patents Microsoft use [] from the various times they have had to list them publicly.

    Also, it is not the ancient FAT filesystem that is patented (although Microsoft would like that), but the long filename extension to the filesystem (which is still pretty old) as well as exFAT (which was introduced in 2006). Nikon would probably need to use exFAT to work with SDXC memory cards.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito