ZTE pays Microsoft protection money -

China's ZTE is paying Microsoft a royalty for devices it makes using Google Android and Chrome operating systems to make sure that it is not patent trolled out of business.

The company is the latest hardware manufacture to hatch a deal with Vole to avoid being sued.

Google and its Motorola phone maker unit is one of the few outfits which have refused to pay the Vole toll. Reaching agreement with ZTE means Microsoft now has patent deals in place with three of the five leading Android phone makers.

According to ReutersMicrosoft is receiving cash from Samsung. LG and HTC. It has yet to strike a deal with Huawei but last week managed to get Hon Hai, the parent of Foxconn, to sign up.

Vole claims it has Android patent deals with about 20 device makers, and 60 percent of Android phones sold worldwide are covered by a Microsoft patent license.

At this rate it will probably make more out of Android than it will out of Windows Mobile software and will be laughing all the way to the bank even if its own software fails to attract any attention.