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Microsoft and HTC Sign Patent Agreements Making the Mobile Wars More Muddy

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The battles in the war over the mobile landscape have already been raging on the patent and legal front with Apple suing HTC, Nokia hauling out its lawyers as well, and everybody gearing up for some carnage. The battle lines just got both harder and easier to discern last night.

Microsoft and HTC signed patent agreements that will see HTC paying royalties to Microsoft for its phones, including Android phones. That seems to be a clear shot fired over Apple’s bow in support of HTC and Google. That news comes after HTC backed away from possibly buying Palm. But in almost the same breath Microsoft says Android infringes on some of its patents, which in turn is a shot back at Google. The early morning commentary seems to suggest that HTC and Google have picked up an ally in the skirmishes against Apple and that may be true, but in the fog of war that this latest news is creating, it isn’t easy to see who is trying to outflank who here. Except of course for the fact that Microsoft just picked up some more coin in the deal.

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

2 Comments

  1. GoodThings2Life

    04/28/2010 at 7:09 am

    I consider this to be similar to how America and Russia teamed up against Germany… a shaky, temporary alliance at best, because of a common, mutual interest. Not to mention, this isn’t the first time Microsoft has signed deals like this to protect a competitor for sake of leaving the market as-is… I remember a certain Apple-Microsoft deal in the 90′s that accomplished the same thing in the desktop realm.

  2. Sumocat

    04/28/2010 at 8:24 am

    Wait, HTC is paying Microsoft royalties on all their smartphones, regardless of whether they run Microsoft software? That’s similar to what they did with PCs, which helped drive Windows to be the defacto third-party OS. Google hasn’t picked up an ally; Android is being positioned to reprise the role of UNIX in the 1980′s OS wars, right down to the fragmentation problem. Google has the muscle to keep that from happening, but they need to get their ducks in a row pronto.

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