Samsung and Microsoft announced just his week that the two companies have entered into a cross-licensing agreement that will have Samsung pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount in royalties for Samsung’s use of the Android operating system, which Microsoft claims incorporates intellectual property that it owns.
The deal also involved Samsung’s pledging support for developing devices for Microsoft’s own mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7.
Google was quick to chide Microsoft over the latter’s cross-licensing deal with Samsung. Speaking to TechCrunch’s MG Siegler, Google claims the deal is plain and simple “extortion”:
This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft. Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners.
Microsoft’s communications chief, Frank Shaw, fired back by “boiling down” Google’s 48-word statement to just 1 word: “Waaaah,” suggesting that Google has been like a whining crybaby.
Shaw also pointed to Microsoft’s blog post about the deal with Samsung. The post said:
We recognize that some businesses and commentators – Google chief among them – have complained about the potential impact of patents on Android and software innovation. To them, we say this: look at today’s announcement. If industry leaders such as Samsung and HTC can enter into these agreements, doesn’t this provide a clear path forward?
It has been obvious that Microsoft did not really make a grand entrance for Windows Phone 7 after the introduction and the fast-paced rise of Android. However, Microsoft has not been allowing itself to become poorer because of Android’s stellar ascent.
Microsoft seems to be making money through a “pay or we’ll sue you” strategy towards Android device makers. The premise is that Android is built and formed through Linux, over which Microsoft has an unnamed patent.
Therefore, every company that uses Android owes Microsoft money. Those who don’t pay up are tantamount to intellectual property thieves worthy of litigating against.
This makes Microsoft richer by the second with inventions they are free-loading upon. Just as Microsoft pressured HTC to pay 5 dollars per Android device sold, we can be confident it’s going to feed on Samsung that same way, too.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, as a response to this issue, Samsung, together with Intel, has also announced its plan to support an alternative operating system called Tizen, which is still based on Linux and the development of which will be overseen by the Linux Foundation.
Microsoft will surely benefit by the millions through licensing deals such as this one with Samsung. The question is, will you, the consumer, also benefit?
Image credit: quaziefoto (Flickr)