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Samsung to Pay Microsoft for Every Android Device Sold

Google's strategy of making Android available to developers for free has paid off extremely well. The operating system quickly mounted serious competition for Mac OS and Windows and emerged as the world's best-selling smartphone platform by the end of 2010. Naturally, that made Microsoft, still reeling from the end of Windows Mobile, and Apple, unhappy with anything less than Blofeld style world domination, feel somewhat uneasy. Both companies have long claimed that Android 'incorporates' significant aspects from their operating systems and have demanded that Google either pay them or change Android to remove the contested elements. The legality of those claims is still undecided and so far no litigation has resulted, but in a move that the Wall Street Journal notes may move that kind of activity forward, Samsung and Microsoft have reached a huge patent sharing deal.

Samsung will now pay royalties to Microsoft on its Android-based smartphones and tablets, and the two global supercompanies will collaborate to develop new phones and tablets based on Windows rather than Android. Window's stake in the deal is obvious, as it gives them official acknowledgment from the world's second largest smartphone maker that their claim against Android may have merit. It also provides leverage to pressure other cellphone makers to cut similar deals. But Samsung's reasons for pursuing the deal may have to do with more than simply protecting themselves from Microsoft's lawyers. The South Korean company is in the midst of a very bitter worldwide legal battle with Apple involving charges of patent and trademark infringement. Partnering with Apple's chief rival may provide them with an easy out, should they lose that battle and find their current slate of tabs and phones kiboshed.

As of this writing, Google has not made any official comment, but one imagines there are some very loud swear words being exchanged at the top of the company. In a month that has seen them taken to task for alleged anti-trust violations, this is one more headache they don't need.

  • back_by_demand
    Have you ever witnessed one of those moments in history, like Ali doing the rope-a-dope?
    ...
    That just happened
    ...
    MS Ali has been on the ropes bobbing back and to while Google Foreman thumps hell out of it, now it seems with this deal Foreman has run out of steam and Ali is going for the knockout
    Reply
  • nebun
    about time...it's time to see some quality phones with a quality OS...i really don't like microsoft, but the desktop version on win7 is one stable OS
    Reply
  • guru_urug
    Oh come on Samsung...grow a pair!!
    Reply
  • sunflier
    ...demanded that Google either pay them or change Android to remove the contested elements.
    I don't know what those 'elements' are but I suppose changing them would put Android way behind??
    Reply
  • rohitbaran
    Extortion. That sums it up.
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    I really wish Microsoft would get their asses handed to them in regards to this royalty crap, when all they have done is *claimed* infringement, and not proven it. Utter bullshit. And dont get me wrong, I like Windows 7 and some of their other stuff, I just hate their business tactics, which amount to bullying other companies around, much like Apple. :/
    Reply
  • Murissokah
    Did I get it wrong or is Samsung abandoning android and adopting windows for their future devices? If that's really true, it's much bigger news than paying royalties. And very bad news indeed, at least for those who admired samsung android devices.
    Reply
  • mdillenbeck
    Perhaps Samsung is realizing it is more lucrative to cater to a supported closed system like iOS or Windows Phone 7 rather than an open and easily side-loaded system like Android.

    I also agree we are seeing a moment in history, but it is a larger part of an ongoing battle to gain ownership of ideas and advancements as "value added" products. It is the notion that we are serfs, we don't own what we own but merely "lease" it from out kind landlords - but unlike feudalism, these landlords don't have any obligation towards us peasantry.
    Reply
  • southernshark
    Great day for MS for sure.
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    Making a deal with the devil (MS) often has unintended consequences. Interpret that however you like.
    Reply