Microsoft bullies Foxconn into paying it for every Android and Chrome product it makes

Microsoft Android os robot windows logo

Microsoft has signed Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to its Android and Chrome patent licensing program. While the exact terms of the deal haven’t been made public, it’ll mean Foxconn will pay royalties to Microsoft for any of their devices running the Android or Chrome operating systems.

This isn’t anything new. In the last decade alone, Microsoft has made more than 1,100 patent licensing agreements for just this kind of deal: if you wanna use Android or Chrome OS on your device, you’ve gotta pay up to Microsoft. And although Google can attest to developing both operating systems in question, Microsoft’s licensing agreements let other companies keep on using it without fear of being sued. In fact, Microsoft actually filed a suit against Foxconn and Barnes & Noble back in 2011 over the Nook’s then-patent-infringing software.

Though it’s best known for manufacturing iPhones, Foxconn also assembles Amazon’s Kindle tablets, as well as phones for Huawei, Motorola, and Nokia. Partnering with Microsoft may leave them hurting for a little while over the new royalties, but it protects them from far greater losses in a skyrocketing mobile industry that’s already fraught with lawsuits. With individual apps like Snapchat getting into hot legal water even as their profits erupt, it’s only a matter of time before the next huge lawsuit against a major manufacturer goes down.

That’s one of the problems with this kind of rapid industry growth – the big lawsuits can bring you down a lot, in both profit margin and the public eye. Microsoft’s not going down any time soon, but with the kind of no-nonsense attitude they’ve shown recently (like that whole “Deal with it” debacle), it’s entirely possible that any suit they open up could spell disaster for an industry competitor – even a small-scale megastar like Foxconn.

Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Computing

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Mobile

Keep on clicking with the 10 best browsers for Android

Browsing the web on an Android device should not be a pain. Check out our picks for the best browsers for Android, so you can surf the web with greater ease and access a trove of unique features.
Mobile

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.
Computing

Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 
Mobile

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices.