Jun 29 AT 11:00 AM Alberto Vildosola 24 Comments

Microsoft bullies two more Android OEMs into paying license fees

Microsoft’s mobile’s strategy (aka feeding off Android’s success like a parasite) seems to be paying off. The company just forced two more Android OEMs into paying license fees for using Google’s Android. Both Velocity Micro and General Dynamics have agreed to pay Microsoft a royalty in order to use Android.

Even though both companies are relatively small players in the Android world, these victories do help Microsoft’s case in future lawsuits against bigger manufacturers. If Velocity Micro has to pay a fee, why shouldn’t Motorola, Samsung and LG have to pay as well? And just like that, Microsoft could make more money from Android than Google itself. Ridiculous.

We can’t really blame Microsoft for wanting to benefit from Android’s explosive growth. Especially since the company’s mobile platform, Windows Phone, is getting steamrolled by the Android war machine. If you can’t beat ‘em, sue ‘em. Meanwhile Google is running away with the whole mobile market, leaving space only for Apple’s iOS.

That doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t have a plan to fend off patent trolls like Oracle and Microsoft. The company is set on buying Nortel’s patent portfolio, which should help them counter-attack Microsoft and free Android OEMs from these absurd license fees. For obvious reasons, Ballmer an Co. don’t want Google to destroy their only source of mobile-related income. That’s why the company is working hard to block Google’s acquisition of Nortel’s patents. Let’s pray Google is able to get their hands on those patents and end this madness.

Via: TechCrunch

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

    I don’t think this post was written within the acceptable Ballmer Peak range.

    • Alberto Vildosola

      INFAMY! I’ve never written an article under the influence. That I can remember at least.

      • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

        You haven’t lived.

        That is all.

  • http://Website Mil

    I hope Google can get their hands on the Nortel patents too so they can stop the gold digging patent companies like Microsoft and Oracle. However, the Nortel patent auction is still ongoing because Nortel has seen how much interest has been raised. Many more companies including Microsoft and Apple are now interested in the Nortel patents and are probably going to be putting in their own bid. Google’s $900million suddenly seems like it might not be enough.

    The really annoying thing is, if Microsoft or Apple get the Nortel patents, they’ll probably then go crazy suing everyone that infringes on those patents. Whereas Google seemed to be acquiring them just for defensive purposes (i.e. the moral higher ground).

    I really hate the patent system in US and hope that Microsoft and Apple do not destroy all the great work that has been accomplished by Google and Android.

  • http://maxtechnewz.blogspot.com Max

    Microsoft is evil i think everyone has known that

  • http://Website Chris

    Just report the news and keep the conclusions to yourself. Android is not steamrolling WP because WP is not a player right now. You could use that analogy with Android steamrolling RIM or something like that. Android and Apple are preventing WP from gaining market share, not pushing it out (Windows Mobile is not Windows Phone 7).

    Should Microsoft be doing what it’s doing with licensing fees? I don’t know. It’s all business at that level. If they are seeing an opportunity they certainly want to grab it. It’s still not nearly as bad as what Oracle is trying to do.

    Maybe you should keep an eye on the entire mobile market and not just the Android sector.

    • http://Website ian

      thank you!
      these articles where companies are called parasites are outrageous! Sure I understand someones dislike of microsoft but come on. Google would without a doubt do the same thing if put in that position, and yes wp7 has not been “Steamrolled”, its entry has started to level out microsoft’s market share.

      Its articles like this that are beginning to make me feel ashamed to be an android fanboy

      • http://Website themanwithsauce

        So if steamroll is a bad choice of words because they aren’t being allowed to gain momentum, would a good choice of words be “WP7 has been absolutely DENIED by the android war machine”?

  • http://Website Mil

    Microsoft is nothing but a hypocritical, evil company. It was only a few weeks ago they stated they were concentrating on reforming the patent system because some company did to them what Microsoft is doing to every Tom, Dick and Harry (ref: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/09/microsoft_loses_supreme_battle_to_i4i/). Microsoft need to grow up and bring some innovation to the table instead of trying to bring innovative companies to the ground and hampering technology progress for everyone. (And Apple is no better).

  • http://Website Akin

    Don’t blame Microsoft, blame the patent system. Nothing they have done in this situation is illegal and based on the intent of the patent system, the companies paying them are doing so because they unfairly benefited from the intellectual property that Microsoft has created. If true, why shouldn’t Microsoft be paid for other’s using their innovation and IP.

  • http://twitter.com/mswansonxi SparkyXI

    Google just needs to buy Oracle and be done with it. Then they can rename Java to “Googla”.

    • http://Website Derek

      Yea, its surprising Google didnt buy Sun. I still cant figure out why they let Oracle get it. They could have just bought Sun for a drop in the bucket compared to their massive hoard of cash on hand they have.

  • http://Website Rick

    I wish someone will fight it and ask to prove to what M$ says they own on android, or for that matter have FOSS force M$ to see what patents that Linux is supposed to infringe.

  • http://Website Derek

    I find it funny that you call Oracle a patent troll. I’m an Android user, so I generally like Android. But what Google did was flat out theft of Sun/Oracle intellectual property. Google didnt want to pony up the bucks so they just stole and directly copied large sections of Java Runtime Environment code.

    In my opinion it was a calculated risk by google. Pay through the nose with licensing it legally, or just copy it and if they get caught fight it in litigation and eventually settle out of court for a sum that’s probably going to be smaller than what it would have cost by licensing it.

    But no two ways about it, Google blatantly stole the code.

    • http://Website themanwithsauce

      I find it funny that people call Google’s use of java as “theft” because it was owned by Oracle at time of use. See, the java code was supposed to be free for people to use (GNU licensed back in mid 2000s). But then oracle found a way to make a buck by selling someone else’s work that didn’t impede on their server business and tried to grab hold. Now that formerly free code needs to be licensed and authorized by oracle so that it lives up to “their” standards for java….Even though it was meant to be modified and adjusted to suit the needs of the world BUT I digress… If anything, I’m glad google put their foot down and is basically saying “F*** you! That code was free for the people and we won’t let you ruin that spirit!” Or do you like the idea of all free word processors being bought up by microsoft or adobe or apple and formerly free programs like open office being sold, for massive profit, alongside word despite being an essential function for a computer?

      • http://Website Talkstr8t

        Sorry, you’ve got it wrong. Yes, the implementation of Java is available under GPL. But you can’t just go off and invent new versions of the Java platform on your own, because the spec license says you have to do that within the processes of the Java Community Process (whose job it is to ensure Java evolves in a coherent way, not fragmenting into 1000 different incompatible versions). Google didn’t do that, they just invented their own version, but did that in a way the Java license doesn’t allow. You may not like it, but Google wouldn’t have had a solid Java platform to build Android on if not for many other companies working through the JCP.

        • http://Website themanwithsauce

          I think you got it wrong. Ignoring the JCP isn’t illegal if you don’t sell the product from what I can tell. You also have to make it a dedicated open source project. Maybe I’m wrong on that but the legal documents I saw don;t state that to use java you HAVE to run the code past the JCP. If you wish to use java in a commercial product though, you do. And that was what linksys got in trouble with was theft of java code for profit without recognition or a legal contract with sun for the code they had written specifically FOR profit. Now I will say that google was stupid in getting that other licesning format for android that isn’t what everyone else uses (too lazy to google the names right now) since that would’ve offered some degree of legal immunity from these silly patent claims about java. I will also say that looking over the “thefts” that the only one that has any merit is one involving the use of java code structure to handle classes….but I question how you can have an advanced java environment without code like that. I suppose they could’ve written their own but then I can see compatibility issues arise. AFAIK google wrote their own class libraries specifically for android. The very basic skeleton of java is used but the guts and muscles on that skeleton are pure google.

          I also question the “fragmentation” of java….Java programs often need to be debugged and patched when ported to another environment anyways so how is that any different? On top of that, google really broke ground with their version of java so there is no one else out there to fragment with. Last time I checked, one example != fragment.

    • http://Website Brian 2

      “But what Google did was flat out theft of Sun/Oracle intellectual property. Google didnt want to pony up the bucks so they just stole and directly copied large sections of Java Runtime Environment code.”

      That is of course utterly false. Android uses code from Apache Harmony, which is a reimplementation of the Java API created specifically to avoid the use of Sun’s code.

  • http://Website RockinEvo

    Love that pic lol if I had a wm device that would be my background

  • http://Website KaLanGO

    Weak companies are made fool of. Microsoft is really out of bounds and i think they will f** themselves later with all this bullsh**. This stuff is reckless i say!

  • http://Website THE EVIL MICROSOFT

    Micrsoft is the Evil

  • http://Website MS_No_More

    Don’t think my family and friends will ever buy anything MicroSoft, not even Windows 8. We hate leeches…. Think we’ll go Meego, Android, or other Linuxes.

    • http://Website KaLanGO

      Ubuntu is getting better and more user friendly. If M$ keep doing this kinda stuff people wont support it anymore and it will crash.

      • http://Website Doctor Who

        As much as I wish that would happen, truth is, it is extremely unlikely (aint gonna happen).