Rohit Mishra

Thoughts which don’t fit in 140 characters.

Android Is Not Free Courtesy Microsoft

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Sad Android Robot

ZDNet is reporting that Microsoft has signed a patent licensing agreement with Samsung for the latter’s Android phones and tablets. As hard as it is to accept, this has proven Steve Ballmer right where he said that “Android is not free. It comes with a patent cost”.  Samsung is not the first to sign such a patent-licensing deal. The other major Android manufacturer HTC and fringe players like Acer and Viewsonic also have similar licensing deals. I don’t know how much HTC or Samsung is paying Microsoft but people have quoted numbers ranging from $5 - $12.50 per device. After Samsung licensing Microsoft’s patents, I wonder whether Motorola Mobility/Google will be able to win the patent litigation case that they are fighting against Android. I hope that Google wins in the patent lawsuit that they are fighting against Oracle, because if manufacturers have to enter into another licensing agreement with Oracle, then Android may become even costlier than Windows Phone 7. Also, I think Microsoft will lower Windows Phone 7 licensing costs to match that of the Android licensing fee, which currently stands at $15 per device to encourage manufacturers to push WP7 more.