MS-Samsung patent deal: Great news for Windows Phones

Thanks to a patent cross-licensing agreement, Microsoft gets paid for every Android phone or tablet Samsung sells.

The success of Samsung's Galaxy S Android phones just became a cash cow for Microsoft, thanks to a patent cross-licensing agreement in which Microsoft gets paid for every Android phone or tablet Samsung sells.

Ostensibly, that's bad news for Android. The operating system is supposed to be free to license, but Microsoft is now extracting money from both Samsung and HTC which - combined - account for more than half of all Android phones sold in the United States. Samsung, HTC, and other companies may be less motivated to create and market Android devices down the line, knowing they'll have to pay Microsoft a cut of their earnings.

But the Samsung-Microsoft deal has even bigger implications for Windows Phone, because the deal includes a broader agreement to "cooperate in the development and marketing" of Microsoft's mobile OS, according to a press release. Samsung already makes Windows Phones, but the company's priority is clearly Android. With this deal, Samsung's priorities may shift.

Looking back, HTC's agreement with Microsoft didn't have the same stipulation--or at least, Microsoft didn't mention it in its press release at the time. But as Microsoft pursues more licensing revenue from other phone makers, I could see the company pressing for deals like the one with Samsung, in which the phone maker agrees to help develop and market Windows Phones.

If you like Windows Phone and want to see it prosper, that's great news. If you're Google, it's a reason to be very, very upset. "Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others' achievements and hinder the pace of innovation," Google said about Microsoft in a statement.

Regardless of the Samsung agreement's effect on Android or Windows Phone, the fireworks sure are fun to watch.

Follow Jared on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftsmartphoneslegalwindows phone 7patentshtcPhonessamsungconsumer electronicsintellectual propertypatentSamsung Electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?