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Microsoft Now Collects Royalties From Over Half of All Android Devices

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the where-can-i-get-me-some-patents dept.

Android 241

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has inked a deal with Compal Electronics, which pumps out gadgets that run Android and Chrome OS, for an undisclosed sum." Microsoft has an explanatory weblog post; with this deal over half of all Android devices are licensing patents from Microsoft. Notably refusing to cooperate and instead opting for the court battle route are Motorola and Barnes and Noble.

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Plan B (2, Interesting)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815774)

I guess it's more cost-effective to shakedown directly than using SCO as a proxy.

Re:Plan B (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816608)

Awww...is the widdle Apple fanboi jealous that MS is doing this?

Re:Plan B (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817262)

You are trolling the wrong platform. This is Android, made by Google.

Why would it even be Linux-related? (0)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817268)

Why would it even be Linux-related?

Android could be using any OS underneath its layer. Probably even Hurd, even if I don't know how well it would play with theGPLv3.

That is the main weakness of Android as I see it.

Android the free OS. (-1, Flamebait)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815788)

Android the free OS. Heh heh!

Re:Android the free OS. (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815846)

Not free as in beer. And this is about hardware - not the OS.

Re:Android the free OS. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815942)

And not free as in open either, oh, wait, until Google gets around to it I suppose....

Re:Android the free OS. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816104)

The code used in phones (Gingerbread) is.

Re:Android the free OS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816112)

Honestly no one cares about Honeycomb, and ICS isn't released yet. It's open for the things that matter, closed for things that literally no one gives a shit about.

Re:Android the free OS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816652)

Yay for not open then? Because Honeycomb sucks, let's not make it open? And that's open how?

Re:Android the free OS. (4, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816178)

If companies that use it have to pay for licences it's not free in either sense.

And it's not about hardware, it's about software. It's about Android.
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/070611-microsoft-android.html [networkworld.com]

Re:Android the free OS. (3, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816398)

I guess if the cellphone manufacturers aren't willing to run Microsoft's mobile OS on their devices, Microsoft will just have to start acting like all the other patent trolls that don't make viable products either.

Re:Android the free OS. (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816810)

it's about software. It's about Android.

It's not about Android, it's about filesystems.

The patent in question is the old FAT32 short/long filename hack MS has been trolling everybody with for most of the decade.

Re:Android the free OS. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815896)

MS may be making money off other peoples' work, but look at what this picture is telling us. Manufacturers would rather pay MS to not use their windows OSes. That's pretty damning!

Re:Android the free OS. (1)

PARENA (413947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816744)

And not even true, because for example HTC has an agreement to AND pay Microsoft for every Android device sold AND to do more with Windows Phone 7.

Re:Android the free OS. (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816964)

Thhats ok. I've offset my MS Tax payment by pirating their software.

Re:Android the free OS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37817320)

Even with you doing that, they are still winning.

Re:Android the free OS. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817336)

LOL, I love the idea of MS offsets. We should trade them on a central exchange. Just like people can fly guilt-free knowing that someone will plant a tree to offset their trip, they can use Android and pay you to cut the MS-related guilt.

Re:Android the free OS. (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816078)

It is in any country without software patents. Well, some versions of it, at least - Honeycomb is mostly proprietary.

Re:Android the free OS. (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816144)

Android the free OS. Heh heh!

Microsoft's patents are on the devices, not the Android OS.

Basil, take it from me, it's always best to wait and think before hitting Submit.

Re:Android the free OS. (3, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816296)

Microsoft's patents are on the devices, not the Android OS.

Wrong.
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/070611-microsoft-android.html [networkworld.com]

Basil, take it from me, it's always best to wait and think before hitting Submit.

Funnily enough that would be my advice to you Ratzo. Do you feel stupid now?

Re:Android the free OS. (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817210)

I don't get it, is this somehow android's fault, that microsoft is extorting android using patents, this is android's fault?

Android is free. Microsoft isn't, and that's actually the message: work with microsoft, don't work with microsoft - either way, they want your money. This is a gigantic sign to every business in existence: don't do business with microsoft.

Bad Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815804)

(Posting AC because I'm at work)

Those that are choosing to go the "fight it in court" route are probably making a very bad decision. First, the other manufacturers likely didn't just roll over and pay up for shits and giggles - the likely did so because there's something there. Second, and more relevantly, the fact that so many manufacturers are willing to voluntarily pay licensing fees for the patents Microsoft is wielding makes it very likely the court is going to side with them over a small handful of companies who think they're wrong. I predict this is not going to end well for companies like Motorla and B&N...

Re:Bad Choice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815876)

Or you can look at this from another POV: Since there's at least one company (with enough leverage) going to court over this, they can relax and sit this one out, without risk or paying legal fees. If Motorola and/or B&N win, they'll go after MS, if not they have nothing to lose, but meanwhile they can do business as usual without worrying about it.

Re:Bad Choice (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815926)

Or because they had plenty patents of their own and cross-licensed for peanuts. Or just got a good deal. Many patent trolls will give out the first licenses for next to nothing, then try to shake down the rest claiming the rest of the industry has licensed it. We'll see when it comes to court how real their claims are.

Re:Bad Choice (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816034)

Smaller companies may well end up paying more even if they win.

Corporate lawyers are pretty good at estimating the success of this sort of thing. Microsoft will probably offer to settle at some point, but have to carry this through a certain way because a threat of a lawsuit is worthless if you aren't seen to be willing to carry it out.

Notice how concepts such as justice and who's actually in the right don't come into this...

Re:Bad Choice (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816108)

Or they don't want to upset Other Business with MS.

Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (3, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815838)

I cant help drawing parallels to the Novell agreement where Microsoft in practice paid Novell hefty sums to keep going in Microsofts direction, focusing on MS technologies and products.

Would anyone except Nokia keep churning WP7 phones out when it still, one year after release has not gotten more than 0,3% of the market? I strongly suspect Samsung, HTC etc in reality gets paid for using WP7 and dont pay a dime to use Android. Ofcourse on paper they pay Microsoft for licenses, but then they get that money and ten times more back in the form of marketing contributions for WP7.

Just as with Novell that is.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (0)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815912)

I cant help drawing parallels to the Novell agreement where Microsoft in practice paid Novell hefty sums to keep going in Microsofts direction, focusing on MS technologies and products.

Would anyone except Nokia keep churning WP7 phones out when it still, one year after release has not gotten more than 0,3% of the market? I strongly suspect Samsung, HTC etc in reality gets paid for using WP7 and dont pay a dime to use Android. Ofcourse on paper they pay Microsoft for licenses, but then they get that money and ten times more back in the form of marketing contributions for WP7.

Just as with Novell that is.

And, yet, here I sit using a Win7 machine to write this post (and, if you check the traffic stats on most websites, I'm not alone). So, in some measure, their methods work - technical excellence bedamned. Can't blame the suits for trying in the phone market what worked so well on the desktop.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (-1, Troll)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816000)

"Worked well?" You make it sound like people WANTED Windows 7. They didn't and they don't. Even today, if Windows XP was an option, they would go with that. Home users and business users alike never wanted to leave Windows XP and in many offices, it's still there.

People are more than a little tired of Microsoft and they no longer believe "newer is better."

What Microsoft has done is everything in their power to force changes and expensive upgrades on everyone and as they have been leveraging their monopoly strongly, they are able to do pretty much whatever they want... until the next antitrust trial.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816052)

What the fuck gay Linux fantasy land are you living in? Everything you said is make believe bullshit.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (5, Informative)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816070)

What are you talking about? Windows 7 is by far the best OS Microsoft has put out and, in my opinion, far easier to use than any other desktop OS (I feel like Apple's OS has stagnated and KDE and GNOME are just poor man's copycats). The swtich from XP to 7 is an easy choice for any company since it is more secure, more stable, and more user-friendly.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (1)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816308)

You do realize that your response is not mutually exclusive with the GP's comments? An OS can be both more secure and stable, yet unwanted by home and business users. I really like Windows 7 on my work machine but it has been a nightmare trying to migrate my uncle's small law office because a good number of their applications simply do not work.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (1)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816414)

Still, the GP's point is that most people would chose XP over 7. That's simply not the case. Most people would prefer the newer and better OS. Ignoring the debate that is Vista, 7 is far superior to XP in many many ways and THE VAST MAJORITY would (and did) choose 7 over XP. Fact (even if (and I say if) only for the shiny aero interface)

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (1)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816658)

Who chose Windows 7 over XP? When that's all you can buy from all major OEMs, that's what home and small business users get. No choice involved.

As I said, I like Windows 7 better and I was an XP fan myself. However, most people prefer what they're used to using, not the newer and better thing. The average user sees no major benefits from XP to Windows 7 but they do know that things look different. You need to realize that geeks are a tiny minority in the general population and most people are not like us.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816514)

Have you tried running them in legacy mode or whatever it is called?

People typically don't want change no matter what. That is a given. But usually after they get the newer/better/faster they hate going back even more. I remember when we migrated to Office 2007 with the new "ribbon". People went nuts but now they are completely inept if you put them in front of the old version toolbars.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (1)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816696)

Yes, a few apps work in XP mode, although most still have various quirks. Others have required a terminal server until we can get all of those legacy apps upgraded or replaced.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (0, Flamebait)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816388)

Win 7 may be the best Windows to date, but it's pretty mediocre compared to the other options.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (2, Insightful)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816396)

What are you talking about? Windows 7 is by far the best OS Microsoft has put out and, in my opinion, far easier to use than any other desktop OS (I feel like Apple's OS has stagnated and KDE and GNOME are just poor man's copycats). The swtich from XP to 7 is an easy choice for any company since it is more secure, more stable, and more user-friendly.

I will not use my mod points just because I disagree with you. But here's my response:
Windows 7 has been nothing like usable. Usability seriously dropped compared to XP. I mean there are so many small quirks that are damn annoying and not intuitive. I still am baffled by the overwrite dialogue every time it appears. It's the worst usability offender by far, because it uses two UX elements at the same time. Even if Gnome and KDE are "poor man's copycats"(which they no longer are), they are much more consistent. In short, I am able to operate KDE/Gnome while I'm drunk and can't understand how to do most tasks in Win7.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (1)

davFr (679391) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816492)

KDE4 and Gnome were undoubtedly released before Windows 7.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816116)

Home users and business users alike never wanted to leave Windows XP and in many offices, it's still there.

Some of us didn't want to leave Windows 2000, and switched to Linux rather than Windows XP.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816364)

I like how you make your opinion as a statement for the people. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816368)

The ones who wanted it were probably using Vista. I didn't personally think that Vista was as bad as folks thought, but there were a lot of folks that did want an upgrade.

Personally, the only reason I have Win 7 at all is because it's difficult to find a price competitive laptop that doesn't have it. In the end it was cheaper to pay for the license I didn't want than it was to spend extra money and pay for somebody to take the copy off an install something sensible. Why the DoJ doesn't do anything about it is beyond me, because I don't want to pay MS for something I don't want.

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816546)

Looking at your account name and post I assume this is a novelty account? Those aren't really used here...

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816694)

Personally I consider Windows 7 to be the first version of Windows since 2000 that isn't absolutely awful. As a "Have to use Windows to interoperate with others occasionally" person, I consider it to be the version of Windows I want.

Personally I don't know anyone who doesn't prefer it over XP, but, whatever...

Re:Like the Novell agreement or beneficial to MS? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817276)

Yes, worked well. They are suits, what do suits care about? Money. Did they make money on the desktop? It worked for them, and therefore will guide their future actions. Can't blame them for doing what they know from desktop PCs and trying to make it work in the phone world - doesn't mean we have to like it, or choose it with our wallet, but I'd be surprised if they didn't try to do to phones what they did to PCs.

Ars' Article on Royalties (5, Informative)

WolfgangPG (827468) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815892)

Fairly good article explaing the Royalties: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/10/microsoft-collects-license-fees-on-50-of-android-devices-tells-google-to-wake-up.ars [arstechnica.com]

Quote:"Microsoft didn’t specifically reference that post, but today said “For those who continue to protest that the smartphone patent thicket is too difficult to navigate, it’s past time to wake up.” Microsoft doesn’t just collect money from other companies, it also pays out plenty to protect itself, Microsoft’s legal team notes.

“Over the past decade we’ve spent roughly $4.5 billion to license in patents from other companies,” Microsoft said. “These have given us the opportunity to build on the innovations of others in a responsible manner that respects their IP rights. Equally important, we've stood by our customers and partners with countless agreements that contain the strongest patent indemnification provisions in our industry. These ensure that if our software infringes someone else's patents, we'll address the problem rather than leave it to others.” /endquote

Re:Ars' Article on Royalties (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815986)

“Over the past decade we’ve spent roughly $4.5 billion to license in patents from other companies,” Microsoft said.

But patents don't block newcomers from innovation. No, not at all. Why would a newcomer have trouble innovating because of a couple of patents they would need to license?

Re:Ars' Article on Royalties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816130)

They wouldn't need to license them. I can file a patent tomorrow which builds on someone else's patent, without paying a cent in licensing fees. Of course, I wouldn't be able to sell a product that was 90% someone else's work without licensing the IP; is that the nub of your complaint?

Re:Ars' Article on Royalties (2)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816032)

It is all compatibility functionality. If phone makers would ditch VFAT and syncing with Office apps they wouldn't have to pay the devil anything.

Re:Ars' Article on Royalties (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816456)

The problem there is that MS doesn't include support for other FS, they support NTFS, VFAT, ISO9660, UDF and that's about it. If you choose to use any other OS, then you're choosing to prevent a large group of less savvy users from being able to copy files onto it, either because you're going to need a special utility or because you need special drivers. Either way, it's not a particularly workable solution for a mass market device, and MS knows that.

A better thing would be for the DoJ and the EU to step in and tell MS, that they can't have patents for VFAT or anything else which they're throwing their weight behind to get licensing dollars.

Re:Ars' Article on Royalties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816936)

If you choose to use any other OS, then you're choosing to prevent a large group of less savvy users from being able to copy files onto it, either because you're going to need a special utility or because you need special drivers.

It's time to move into the 21st century and cut the cord: DropBox, iCloud, Google Docs (etc)

Re:Ars' Article on Royalties (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817284)

Maybe, Android phones should just install their own driver to read btrfs or ext2 or something on a windows machine. Or better yet, the vfat file system calls are well documented, all an Android phone needs to do is intercept them and translate to what ever file format they want. The phone only needs an interface that a windows machine will recognize, not to actually store the data that way.

evil (0, Troll)

dell623 (2021586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815904)

just a reminder to us that Microsoft hasn't become any less evil just because apple are pushing the boundaries of evil.

I will buy the droid razr and the next nook color because of this and because they are great devices not made by cowardly companies.

oh and Microsoft, please sue amazon please, that might turn out to be fun.

this is pure extortion 'you violate our patents we can't tell you which ones'. Why don't you pay us a small percentage of your sales to make the problem go away?

Re:evil (1, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816026)

oh and Microsoft, please sue amazon please, that might turn out to be fun.

Dear Dell623. We at Amazon regret to inform you that we are already licensing Microsofts IP [google.com] , a fact that has obviously has been kept a secret when someone as well informed as yourself doesnt know about it.

this is pure extortion 'you violate our patents we can't tell you which ones'. Why don't you pay us a small percentage of your sales to make the problem go away?

When they sign the standard non-discloser agreement used in licensing negotiations in the industry, they find out which patents. Barnes and Noble has skillfully tricked some people that arent well informed into thinking that Microsoft refused to disclose the information, when in actuality it was B&N that refused to enter licensing talks.

Re:evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816098)

When they sign the standard non-discloser agreement used in licensing negotiations in the industry, they find out which patents. Barnes and Noble has skillfully tricked some people that arent well informed into thinking that Microsoft refused to disclose the information, when in actuality it was B&N that refused to enter licensing talks.

Why enter "a standard non-discloser agreement used in licensing negotiations in the industry", over something publicly available as are patents?

Re:evil (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816378)

Why enter "a standard non-discloser agreement used in licensing negotiations in the industry", over something publicly available as are patents?

Did you expect the non-disclosure agreement to be whitelisting or blacklisting topics? Seriously?

Re:evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37817224)

You didn't really answer my question though. Seriously.

Why do you need a NDA to disclose which patents are being violated? They are publicly available...

If I ever get a smart phone (2)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815910)

I guess I am going Apple

Re:If I ever get a smart phone (1, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815956)

Because they (Apple) never go after anyone with questionable patent claims or because Apple has already paid for/cross-licensed everything they need with the companies you don't like?

Re:If I ever get a smart phone (0)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816028)

Because Apple stands up for its products in court, unlike Google.

Jackass.

Re:If I ever get a smart phone (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816092)

Google stands up for its products by licensing the IP they need. [google.com]

The few actual Google products which run Android have licensed the IP. Did you think that the majority (all?) of those android devices on the market were Google products? Sorry.

Re:If I ever get a smart phone (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815988)

I assume you are being sarcastic but if not you realize that that would be completely the opposite of what you'd want to do. You would want to support Motorola or B&N who are fighting Microsoft.

Of course, pretty much every tech company nowadays has patents they are suing over so I am not sure that you can buy a phone without supporting one of them.

Re:If I ever get a smart phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816442)

Is it a coincidence that Motorola and B&N are the only ones who have not signed up for these licenses, and are the only ones that do not have a Windows based product ?

Re:If I ever get a smart phone (0)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816040)

I see. Why get the diet coke of evil when you can go full evil, right?

Misleading Summary, Again (0)

jimallison86 (1156175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815928)

That's half of all device manufactures, not half of all devices sold. Stubble difference.

Re:Misleading Summary, Again (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815962)

today’s announcement means that companies accounting for over half of all Android devices have now entered into patent license agreements with Microsoft

From the article.

I've always wondered why Google is mostly silent (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815972)

with this deal over half of all Android devices are licensing patents from Microsoft.

Why is Google silent in this matter? Now before you mod me down, I know Google have made some inconsequential comments. These have not helped at all.

Dicalimer: I am not a lawyer.

If I were Google, I would file a some lawsuit to 'force' Microsoft to reveal the patents that Android is infringing on, or force Microsoft not to mention the word Android in its licensing propaganda.

My suspicions of what is really going on:

1: Microsoft approaches an Android OEM with a 'sweet deal' relating to Android.

2: Microsoft pays the OEM some cash and a deal is struck that results in the OEM saying no word about the deal, but allows Microsoft to spread FUD.

On major OEMs like Samsung, the deal could be about future android based products that would envisage incorporating Microsoft technology (which actually exists and is interesting).

You wonder why the other party says nothing at all about the licensing. But the major thing about all this is the silence of Google.

What Google could do in addition, is to modify the non GPL portions of Android and add language that specifically prohibits licensees from entering into licensing deals like the ones Microsoft touts if they are going to be party to Microsoft's FUD.

Here's the worry: It might backfire!

Re:I've always wondered why Google is mostly silen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816102)

MS has been in the smartphone business since about 1997. They *may* have one or two things they spent a bit of time working on... Remember WinCE was built for that market.

Re:I've always wondered why Google is mostly silen (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816664)

Really? I always thought WinCE was meant for the PDA / pocketPC market.

Re:I've always wondered why Google is mostly silen (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816118)

Google can't do anything about the FAT patent that everyone has to use for card storage. Consumers expect to be able to pull the SD card from a device and have it usable in something else without having to worry about file system drivers. FAT is the defacto standard for memory cards today.

The industry fell asleep on this one, when they should have all worked together to create a license and royalty free open spec file system. The blew it and are now paying the price, well, we the consumer is paying the price.

This patent was rejected, right? (2)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816206)

Folks at Pubat claim the patent was rejected [pubpat.org] .

Re:I've always wondered why Google is mostly silen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816140)

You're delusional.

Re:I've always wondered why Google is mostly silen (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816198)

The thing is, it isnt neccessarily Android that infringes. It may well be the handset makers implementation, maybe even hardware. Note Microsoft hasnt sued Google yet AFAIK. This makes it not Googles problem.

Re:I've always wondered why Google is mostly silen (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816224)

You wonder why the other party says nothing at all about the licensing.

Because both parties agreed to not discuss the specifics of the licensing deal, something that is pretty standard. They (Samsung, HTC, Apple, ..etc..) stand to gain nothing by letting their competition (Samsung, HTC, Apple, ...etc..) know what their own deal is, as their competition could then easily refuse to accept anything worse. Its the fog of war codified in a non-disclosure agreement that both sides of a negotiation typically insist upon (Barnes and Noble being the exception... but they have nothing to trade but money.. and not a lot of that as they are getting their ass handed to them by Amazon.)

P.S. Even Google licensed from Microsoft for Google-branded phones. Thats right, even Google is licensing from Microsoft.

Re:I've always wondered why Google is mostly silen (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816336)

Here's my problem.

If an OEM is going to licence some stuff from Microsoft for use in Android, that's fine. Let them go ahead, after all Android can be 'extended', being opensource.

The trouble is that Microsoft's FUD is claiming that Android OS *is* is infringing. Let them clarify. Are they saying that the source code as downloaded from Android's website infringes or the additions/modifications to the source code by OEMs make Android devices infringe. All I would like is a clarification, and only a lawsuit can assure this.

Re:I've always wondered why Google is mostly silen (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816822)

If an OEM is going to licence some stuff from Microsoft for use in Android, that's fine. Let them go ahead, after all Android can be 'extended', being opensource.

Are you forgetting about the opposite of 'extended?' Android, being opensource, may also be 'limited' by the OEM.

The trouble is that Microsoft's FUD is claiming that Android OS *is* is infringing. Let them clarify.

If you want a specific case clarified you can look at their lawsuit with Motorola where the patents that Microsoft claims are being violated by Motorola are now public information.

All I would like is a clarification, and only a lawsuit can assure this.

It seems like you are the one spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) by pretending that such a lawsuit doesnt exist. There is actual certainty (ie, no doubt) about which patents Microsoft is claiming that Motorola is infringing. Its on the public record.

The Great America Duopoly (4, Interesting)

transami (202700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816060)

Does anyone else find it ironic that the broken U.S. patent system, and by extension, the broken U.S. government, along with some good-old boy corporate nepotism, is leading us right back to the old Microsoft/Apple duopoly? No more webOS, no more Meego, RIM is on the ropes and Android looks to be next.

Who looses? The customer.

Re:The Great America Duopoly (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816132)

Huh? How do you figure? Microsoft had nothing to do with the death of webOS or RIM (not even sure what Meego is) - they committed suicide. And I see this more of Microsoft realizing they have no chance against the Android/Apple juggernauts and want to cash in any way they can. Android's market base is way too big for even Microsoft to take them down at this point.

Re:The Great America Duopoly (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816264)

Oh, you mean the US laws that banned the Galaxy Tab for being a rectangle? News flash: this isnt just a US problam.

Re:The Great America Duopoly (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816538)

News flash: this isnt just a US problam.

I "problam-e" the education system.

Re:The Great America Duopoly (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816440)

My problem is that they are effectively exporting that broken system.

Re:The Great America Duopoly (3, Interesting)

webheaded (997188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816460)

The thing that bothers me about all this is that Google hasn't stepped into the courts really very much at all yet. These companies are getting screwed using the Google OS and quite frankly, Google should be helping them out in court. I don't understand why they haven't yet.

Also, I hate to be that guy but why do I see SO many people that don't know how to use loose vs lose? You lose a customer. You loose the hounds upon someone. That bolt is loose. You lose bolts all the time. I am not kidding at all...I see it everywhere. I think I'm starting to see this more than the people that can't use then and than right and I am perplexed.

Re:The Great America Duopoly (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816934)

The thing that bothers me about all this is that Google hasn't stepped into the courts really very much at all yet.

ORLY? [arstechnica.com]

Re:The Great America Duopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37817384)

Also, I hate to be that guy but why do I see SO many people that don't know how to use loose vs lose? You lose a customer. You loose the hounds upon someone. That bolt is loose. You lose bolts all the time. I am not kidding at all...I see it everywhere. I think I'm starting to see this more than the people that can't use then and than right and I am perplexed.

Not everybody has English as their first language.....

Re:The Great America Duopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816966)

Android won't go anywhere; especially now that Microsoft vouches for it through this "pay us if you want to use it" scheme.
But the same thing can't by said about WP7; what's the point for Microsoft to maintain this niche software when they can earn more with their competitor's product (without even having to "touch" it) ?

In the end it won't *exactly* be a Microsoft/Apple duopoly, more like a Google/Apple duopoly where Microsoft is the market leader !!?!!

The lion share is for a company that doesn't sell a product, that's the wonders that can be achieved through the magic of software patents...

Patents suck (1)

komrix (2452390) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816072)

Seriously i can't believe that patents are this out of control. I mean all OS's are going to be relatively similar because it is so difficult to make a GUI from scratch that people will like.

Switch to BSD as the base instead of Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816094)

BSD is older than Windows. It's older than Microsoft.

the toy store (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816110)

i've been getting frustrated with Barnes and Noble.
They have been changing into more of a toy store than a book store, but now i feel like going and buying something from them.

i'll have to look up what the 4th book in the john carter series is.

What do you expect (2)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816120)

Microsoft are winning this game, they always have been. They will pillage the open source market and as many markets as they can and squeeze it for every cent. yes Android is pseudo open source, but it's less closed that the ms offering or apples bastardisation of bsd.

Freedom isn't as shiny as Apple or Microsoft and it's not as glamorous. Sure if that's what you choose, then go ahead, but as actual day to day user of open source software on my desktop I feel that choice is slowly being taken away from me. How long, I wonder, before I can't run an approved software stack on a motherboard at home?

I see a slow convergence of Microsoft strategies. I don't ever think they will go away, but I wish they would stop trying to impose their will on my choices. Everywhere you turn there is Microsoft throwing its weight around, cementing its monopoly. They are the MacDonalds of Information Technology.

Re:What do you expect (3, Interesting)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816228)

I know the anti-Microsoft tendencies are strong on this site but Microsoft is definitely not "cementing its monopoly".

IE market share has dropped from 70% in 2008 to 40% in 2011.

While Windows Desktop OS market share is still high, a large part of that is still XP and Mac has made a small dent in the total as well.

Linux continues to make huge inroads on the server OS front.

Smartphones, Windows OS is barely a blimp. And guess what - that's where the future market is. I know several people who fully expect their next "laptop" to actually be a tablet.

So believe it or not, Microsoft sees a future where it is struggling to stay alive and needs to reinvent itself.

Re:What do you expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816636)

> ... and needs to reinvent itself.

As a patent troll, if I understood correctly?

Innovation! (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816126)

The patent system was put in place to promote innovation. It's a shame that large companies are able to use it to stifle innovation through patent purchasing and subsequent bullying.

MS has evolved into a mafia-like organization. They don't innovate anymore, they just make everyone pay them a "protection" tax. (I'd say the same about Apple, but they still innovate in addition to bullying.)

Re:Innovation! (2)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816542)

Whether apple innovate is also questionable. They produce very good gadgets and they polish them very very well, but there's not a huge amount that they've done that is truly innovative. iPod was just a well polished MP3 player of which there were many before them. iPhone was nothing new (all-touchscreen had been done by LG prada before iPhone was released) iPad was a merging of their iPhone and tablet computers (which MS had been trying (and failing) to generate a mass-market in about 10 years previous) macbooks - flashy and well engineered, but not particularly innovative. Siri was a bought-in component that they merged into the latest phone. OK, I'll give you multitouch for them, but the point is that not everything that comes out of Infinite Loop is innovative. Very good and well designed, yes, but don't preach to them as the Gods of Innovation. They do find good innovators in the market and then copy-and-improve them or buy them outright to incorporate into their engineering team.

competition authorities (1)

BBird (664014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816148)

Something useful the competition authorities (US, EU, ...) could do is the check MS OEM contracts, to see if and how they distort the OEM capacity to offer non-MS OSs in pcs, tablets, phones, and so on.

I give Microsoft five years. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816504)

Laugh all you want. That ship is sinking and sinking good.

GOOD RIDDANCE.

Can't believe this... (1)

red crab (1044734) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816976)

Not only they are extracting money from phone manufacturers, grabbing them by collar; they are also bragging about in their blog. What has software industry come to?

ChromeOS also implicated as infringing patents (1)

itwbennett (1594911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817036)

What's notable this time around is that ChromeOS is also implicated as an infringing technology. Compal is now the third ODM company to enter into a Microsoft agreement over ChromeOS and Android. Brian Proffitt goes into more detail in this blog post: http://www.itworld.com/mobile-wireless/215897/microsoft-why-innovate-when-you-can-litigate [itworld.com]

Motorola is fighting it? (1)

cmdr_klarg (629569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817190)

Good to know what brand of phone to keep buying.

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