Saturday, November 06, 2010

Microsoft Out To Spoil The Rise of Android

Microsoft has reportedly come up with a new way to compete with Google and that is to charge royalty fees to prevent the likes of Acer from adopting Android and Chrome OS in their netbook and tablet offerings. Interestingly, Microsoft has chosen to charge the manufacturers and avoid a direct fight with Google.

Microsoft plans to impose royalties of US$10 to $15 per handset "for using its patents in e-mail, multimedia and other functions." HTC is apparently paying the fees and some suggest that is because it was cheaper than a lawsuit and that could retrieve the money from Windows Phone 7 licensing deals.

So why is the open source market so upset by this latest move by Microsoft? The answer is that the royalty is claimed against patent usage not the software used as the software is open source and has not licence fees!

Today everyone is patenting the future, and then suing when everyone makes it to the obvious next step. Microsoft has already been found guilty of predatory practices in violation of anti-trust law and some would suggest it's patents could become unenforceable if they are found to be abusing them. Some suggest Microsoft is aiming to head off what seems a tide of manufacturers adopting Linux OS on mobiles, netbook and tablet devices. If Microsoft loses this new market it will be severely restricted to the PC segment and their operating system monopoly.

Microsoft’s big problem is that they have to support layers of legacy. Today nobody needs to upgrade their OS to the latest Microsoft offer except when they buy a new computer. This breaks their old model and significantly dilutes the opportunity to pull through an Office upgrade sale.

So we now have Windows 7 and importantly Windows Phone 7. Will Microsoft succeed in thwarting the Google movement or are we starting to see the real demise of a technology giant of yesterday?

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