The unfolding Android drama just got a bit more dramatic, as Microsoft and Taiwan-based Quanta have announced a lucrative patent-licensing agreement. Though the specific terms of the deal have not been made public, the press release confirms that Quanta will enjoy "broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Quanta's tablets, smartphones and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome Platform." Naturally, Microsoft will also receive royalties from Quanta.
Those royalties are sure to give Google severe headaches. Microsoft has long claimed that Android borrows significant elements from Windows, and that they're owed significant royalties for those borrowed elements. Considering Google's policy of giving the OS away to developers for free, that's not very likely to happen soon, but Microsoft's plan B - undermine Google's position by striking deals with individual developers - has worked out pretty well for them so far. During the last few months, Microsoft has accumulated an impressive array of patent-sharing arrangements, including with Casio, Acer, ViewSonic, Velocity Micro and most recently with Apple arch-nemesis Samsung.
Your move, Google.