Microsoft have consistently pointed out that Android is not free, nor open. Whether you agree on the latter point really depends on your definition. If it is a matter of degree, then Android is ‘more open’ then WP7 and, of course, iOS. That much is for sure. However, Android is not free to HTC, Samsung and the like. Here’s why.
Some of the key players making Android based mobile phones have crawled into bed with an intellectual properties company called Intellectual Ventures (IV). They pay IV a fee for access to its 30,000 or so registered patents. These patants allow companies using Android to defend [...]