Microsoft's new revenue stream: Android phones

Credit: flickr/cdcoppola

Microsoft sells Windows 7 phones, but not very well. Android phones sell more more units than Microsoft. But thanks to patent lawsuits, Microsoft may make more money from Android phones than from Windows.

Such is the news from a post from two of Microsoft's senior lawyers, with an infographic showing many of the companies paying patent license fees on Android phones to Microsoft. The agreement with Compal, a phone design and manufacturing firm, puts the percentage of Android phones paying tribute to Microsoft at over 50 percent of the market (55 percent worldwide, 53 percent in the US).

In that post, Microsoft says they have paid "roughly $4.5 billion to license patents from other companies," but they don't separate how much is to phone manufacturers. Microsoft has made 10 major deals in the Android phone space and has 1,133 patent license agreements across their entire Portfolio. It will be interesting to see Microsoft and Google butt heads over Motorola phones and patents.

Thieves versus lawyers

So, how does it feel to be a patent troll, Microsoft?

Thom Holwerda on technet.com

Who would have thought it would be such a legal nightmare to develop a clone of iOS, using a bastardized and incompatible version of Java, relying on hardware that lifts MS technologies?

aiken_d on arstechnica.com

This is truly innovative on the legal stage. I mean, forcing US patents on companies that are not based in US not do they manufacture anything in US.

Alex on technet.com

innovation fail ftw. If you can't beat em , sue em

u_fail on venturebeat.com

It's such racketeering 21th century form. Microsoft and Apple are looks like two crime families.

jv on technet.com

Earned money

MS is protecting its patent portfolio as any company would do. If you could make money from something, you make money from it.

bhive01 on arstechnica.com

Most of you commenters are clueless. If intellectual property cannot be protected, there is no incentive to develop

Jeff on technet.com

innovation costs money

prasadm on venturebeat.com

Not my problem

all this - and i don't care...give me my galaxy nexus !

BlackTaxi2d on arstechnica.com

People complain about the "Microsoft tax" on computers. When will we start talking about the "Patent tax" on smartphones?

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