Microsoft revealed that it had reached an agreement with LG to license its Android and Google Chrome OS devices. Specifics of the deal were not revealed but given the nature of other licensing deals it's likely that UnLucky Goldstar will be forced to cough up for royalties.
Microsoft gleefully announced that a massive 70 percent of all Android smartphones in the US are now subject to its licensing deals, claiming it is “proud of the continued success”. Of what? Android? Android's one of the biggest money spinners the Vole has going for it, now.
No wonder it's happy. After a disastrous attempt at a mobile play, eventually Microsoft began moving into the mobile market in a big way. Every time a manufacturer thinks about extra costs involved in the – supposedly free – Android OS, its own services begin to appear more attractive.
Of course it is going to need all the help it can get to catch up to Android , but a string of licensing deals will not have done it any harm.
Samsung has been forced to hand over cash on its handsets, thought to be to the tune of around $15 per device – no small amount when you are flogging Galaxy S2s by the millions and millions. Alongside Samsung, Microsoft has also claimed the scalps of HTC and Acer in Android or Chrome OS deals and is unlikely to stop until it has hunted down all Google OS users.
Microsoft is also attempting to put the screws on Barnes & Noble and Google’s newly acquired Motorola Mobility, though both are holding out for the moment.
TechEye spoke to patent expert Florian Mueller who said that it's likely that Microsoft’s LG licensing deal is of the same ilk to those with other Android device makers.
He also said that the deal, which is a boost for Microsoft, leaves Motorola and B&N more vulnerable.
“It's another milestone for Microsoft's patent licensing business and those who refuse to take a license, particularly Motorola and Barnes & Noble, are increasingly isolated,” he said. “Those two companies are being sued by Microsoft while others have resolved at the negotiating table any IP issues surrounding Google's platforms."