Editor in Chief
- Dec 30, 2010
- Reaction score
- Austin, TX
It's gettin' kinda hectic in here... We have known for several years that Microsoft makes more money from its Android licensing agreements than it actually does from its own Windows Phone. As if that weren't ironic and complicated enough, things just kicked up a notch. Normally, when Microsoft signs an Android licensing agreement with an OEM, it is remarkably lop-sided in Microsoft's favor. The manufacturer who wishes to make an Android product pays Microsoft a royalty fee for the licensed patents, in exchange Microsoft agrees not to grind them into the dirt in court. In today's case, things are quite a bit more balanced as Microsoft and Dell have worked out a different arrangement.
According to the new cross-licensing deal, Dell can make Android and Chromebook devices, but in addition to paying Microsoft a smaller royalty fee, Dell will also license some of its patents for Microsoft to use in Xbox consoles. No specifics were given on what these patents will be used for exactly, but it's still intriguing to see things go a bit differently for a change. Perhaps it's both Dell's size and the past close relationship with Microsoft which facilitated such an agreement. Of course, it could simply be because Microsoft wanted the patents for the Xbox and in lieu of those would have handled things the same way they have in the past.
We'll let you know if more details emerge regarding this strangely symbiotic relationship.