Skip to main content

Microsoft announces tenth Android patent deal

Image used with permission by copyright holder

According to Microsoft, half of all Android devices are now under its patent protection. Yesterday, the Redmond software maker revealed it has signed a deal with Compal Electronics giving the company “broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio” for tablets, phones, e-readers and anything else running Google’s Android or Chrome operating systems. Under the new deal, Microsoft will receive royalties from Compal, presumably for each device sold. 

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry.  Together with the license agreements signed in the past few months with Wistron and Quanta Computer, today’s agreement with Compal means more than half of the world’s ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft.  “We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome.”

If this press release sounds familiar, it should. This is Microsoft’s tenth patent deal with an Android manufacturers. Seemingly unable to effectively compete with its own Windows Phone operating system, Microsoft has been targeting manufacturers of Android devices–the dominant smartphone platform–and strong arming them into signing patent agreements. Microsoft claims that Android is in breach of a number of core operating system patents that it owns and invented. Samsung, HTC, Acer, ViewSonic, Quanta, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, General Dynamics Itronix, and Wistrom have all announced patent deals with the software company. 

So what does this all mean to you? Well not much, except that for half of all Android devices, Google’s OS is no longer free. In the long run, that means higher prices and less of an advantage for Google, which is buying Motorola to secure patents to help “protect” Android. 

(Image via AP)

Editors' Recommendations

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
How to stop spam calls on iPhone and Android phones
google phone app call spam nexus android one feat

While regulators are doing everything they can to stop robocalls in their tracks , it's an uphill battle, and some calls will inevitably slip through and make it to your phone.

Fortunately, both Apple and Google have provided features in their respective mobile operating systems to help you manage unwanted calls. From letting you manually block specific numbers outright to intelligently filtering out calls that are more likely to be spam, there's actually quite a bit that your iPhone or Android handset can do to keep your day from being interrupted by unwanted calls.

Read more
Google just announced 9 new features for your Android phone and watch
Samsung Galaxy S23 showing Google Photos

Google has announced some big new features coming to Android and Wear OS devices during the Mobile World Congress 2023 event in Barcelona, Spain. These new features are beginning to roll out starting today, February 27, with others to come later.
New Android features available starting February 27

Google Drive users will now be able to do freehand annotation on Android phones and tablets. This means you are now able to use a stylus or your fingers to annotate PDFs directly in the Google Drive app on Android.

Read more
The Pixel 7’s best camera trick is coming to the iPhone and all Android phones
Erasing items in Magic Eraser.

The Google Pixel series of phones, specifically the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7, have an exclusive feature called Magic Eraser. With Magic Eraser, you can get rid of unwanted objects in a photo, such as people in the background or things like power lines. As of today, Magic Eraser is becoming available to all Android phones and iPhone users through Google One.

Magic Eraser debuted on the Pixel 6 lineup, which includes the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and the more affordable Pixel 6a, which is still available to purchase (the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have been discontinued). If you have a Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro, you also have the Magic Eraser feature. One of the reasons I had always wanted a Pixel device is because of Magic Eraser, and it is something that I desperately wished Apple would implement.

Read more