Microsoft unveils new anti-Android stratagem

By Richi Jennings, Computerworld |  IT Management, Android, insider

It's no surprise that Microsoft is attacking Android with its intellectual property portfolio. However, the big news in the mobile platform world this weekend was Microsoft's latest patent licensing agreement with Compal, an Android original device manufacturer (ODM). Ho-hum-yawn, I hear you say? Not so fast! Microsoft's announcement unveils a new aspect to Redmond's strategy that the company has, until now, only hinted at. I'll reveal all, in The Long View...

Background
As has been well-documented, Microsoft is asserting that at least 23 of its patents are infringed by Android devices. Its strategy up to now has been to persuade device manufacturers to pay a few bucks per device -- we're talking here about Android ODMs such as Samsung, HTC, and ViewSonic. Those ODMs that won't pay up get sued.

Indeed, Microsoft now claims that its intellectual property (IP) licensing agreements cover more than half of the Android smartphone market. Estimates vary, but it's said that Microsoft stands to make almost half a billion dollars next year from Android licensing fees. It now seems certain that this IP licensing strategy is already making more money from Android than Microsoft itself is making from its own Windows Phone 7 platform!

The new aspect
OK, so I said there was more to Microsoft's strategy than just per-unit IP licensing to ODMs. This weekend, Microsoft opened the kimono a little wider. Read on...

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