back to article Microsoft to Android OEMs: 'Show me the money'

Microsoft has reserved the right to nail firms making Android devices running its Office suite for possible Windows patent infringements. The giant has decided against signing a licence with Open Invention Network (OIN), a group of 1,300 companies dedicated to defending Linux against patent suits. Signing an OIN licence could …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, Lucipher is driving a snowplough down my street

    Come on, it is making more profit on patent revenues than from the whole Windows Phone system combined. Anyone with the idea that any business will forfeit 2bn+ of pure profit (there are virtually no admin expenses involved here) just like that is out of their f*** mind.

    The only way for Microsoft to sign to OIN (or any other reciprocal IPR scheme regarding Linux) is if it is mandated by a court remedy. Even then, it will prefer to pay its way out.

    1. Lusty

      Re: Yes, Lucipher is driving a snowplough down my street

      Agreed, it's also likely that if Google had sufficient useful patents then Microsoft would make an agreement with them for cross licensing patents. Given that this doesn't seem to be the case I assume Google don't have anything valuable enough to trade. Do Apple also pay $2Bn a year, or does their cross licensing cover it?

      1. Bob Vistakin

        Re: Yes, Lucipher is driving a snowplough down my street

        Leopards can't change their spots. Even when their rapidly evaporating own comedy efforts have gone, their Android patent extortion will go down in history as the only meaningful contribution they've ever made to the mobile industry.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yes, Lucipher is driving a snowplough down my street

          I think this article should of made a distinction between what tech Microsoft gets paid royalties on, because it certainly isn't Linux itself (which the article doesn't quite make clear).

          Microsoft can only make "claims" about infringements, because they sure as hell don't want their own code examined line per line for infringemet. 30+ years of infringement will bankrupt any company.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yes, Lucipher is driving a snowplough down my street

          Heh, poor old Bob struggles with the fact that Microsoft are doing so well out of android. They appear to be making shed loads of cash. Whereas you get basket cases like Sony, who are trying to be all cool and hipster with their 'android only' mobile strategy. And guess what? They are bleeding cash. Makes me chuckle.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Apple and Microsoft's existing cross licensing deal covers mobile devices.

  2. dogged

    El Reg Exclusive!

    trans - story so obvious that nobody else is bothering to report it.

    Seriously, you were expecting MS to sign away all rights enforce patents over Android manufacturers? They'd be looking at a shareholder lawsuit within seconds.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: El Reg Exclusive!

      When I see one of these mythical "Windows Phones" in the wild I'll be sure to check it out. Trouble is, at just over 2% market share that means I'd have to stare at almost 50 smartphone users before catching sight of one.

      You can tell how irrelevant it is by looking at anyone advertising an app - from the sofa pushers on telly during the soap opera breaks to the supermarkets - they invariably just have the Android and iOS logos by the "get our app" tagline.

      1. dogged

        Re: El Reg Exclusive!

        walk past carphone warehouse, Bob. Or don't they have a branch in Mountain View?

      2. RyokuMas Silver badge

        Re: El Reg Exclusive!

        Ah, always there with the same tired old FUD, eh Bob? Why not go chat to the Google high ups some more and see if they can give you some new ideas?

  3. ColonelClaw

    Like I always said

    If you can't beat them, beat them up.

    1. Avatar of They

      Re: Like I always said

      Isn't that Bill Gate's mantra?

      Naughty MS, silly MS, one step forward, 3 steps back.

      1. John Sanders

        Re: Like I always said

        There never was any step forward.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Like I always said

          Step forward...steps back? I must of briefly took my eyes off the fat man sitting on a throne.

  4. John Sanders

    """Much has been made of the “new” Microsoft under chief executive Satya Nadella and his willingness to work with competing technologies and companies."""

    MS has sanctioned Office on Android and iOS, as a whitewashing manoeuvre and to stop the proliferation of other office suites on those platforms, while at the same time relentlessly attacks Android.

    "Microsoft loves Linux" It’s nonsense (albeit endlessly repeated) of the highest order, but enough people who are not keeping up with the news might actually fall for this nonsense and even pass it on.

    Bill Gates once chose the word “cancer” to describe the operating system, and Gates is still a prominent member of the board.

    """but for Microsoft's legal team this is not a new era – it remains business as usual."""

    As if the Microsoft legal team had nothing to do with the rest of Microsoft. :-(

  5. Benebby

    It took me a little while but I figured out where I recognised the picture from:

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "Microsoft has reserved the right to nail firms making Android devices running its Office suit for possible Windows patent infringements."

    Two can patent troll. There must be a patent or two that the OIN have which applies to Android Office. If so it it should be reported to Google and Office should be taken down from Play while the patent claim is investigated... thoroughly.

  7. quarky

    Not surprising.

    Given Google's refusal to make their the vast majority of their apps available on the Windows platform, they are not exactly being co-operative and open either. Both sides need to sit down and do a deal, but given that Google don't want more competition from Windows Phone, and that Microsoft don't want to give up a healthy revenue stream, I can't see it happening too soon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not surprising.

      "Google's refusal to make their vast majority of their apps" including gmail, docs voice and talk? google made them available for windows users. Those other apps..the real "vast majority".. they are made by developers and users of google products and not google's developers. I am one of those developers and am not willing to port my app over to any microsoft product. Why not ask the microsoft user base to make apps for you?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can anyone help us restore some sanity here ?

    The fact that Android runs on top of a shackled Linux kernel does not mean Android is Linux. All these patent wars are about the Android user space so please stop mentioning Linux all over the place here. Nevertheless it is true that Microsoft made a fortune preying on this deliberate confusion.

  9. WylieCoyoteUK

    Matbe they don't really have much to offer.

    Microsoft are exceedingly coy about which patents are actually involved.

    Perhaps they are worried that their supposed patent pot might melt away if examined?

    Barnes and Noble's "prior art" declaration led to MS backing down.

    1. oldcoder

      Re: Matbe they don't really have much to offer.

      They also got rather quiet after the Chinese revealed what the actual patents were.

      The software patents were stupid... and some even expired - which should have opened them up to being sued for fraud.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Matbe they don't really have much to offer.

      Hmm yes Samsung told them to get stuffed and what a surprise a new (and probably much reduced) agreement was reached behind closed doors without ever coming to trial.

      Interestingly MS have never challenged the Linux kernel in open court. It could turn out embarrassing for MS and we may find that they have lifted open source code and put it in MS products. I bet if it did go head to head the Linux lawyers would demand access to MS's source code and that's what scares them off.

      1. quarky

        Re: Matbe they don't really have much to offer.

        What? Why would the "Linux lawyers" need access to MS source code to defend Linux code? That is not logical in any universe.

    4. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Matbe they don't really have much to offer.

      I've noticed those who pay are generally those who sell or build MS' products.

      Nice Windows OEM deal you've got there. It'd be a shame if anything happened to it...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It is difficult to be a nimble innovative tech business with an albatross around your neck. The birds dead, it's starting to get a bit whiffy, and the bloody wings keep getting in the way of progress.

    With their deep pockets and the means to litigate for decades, it might appear to be good business sense to pay M$ for any allegedly infringing tech you've designed & built. The problem I have with this "solution" is that when an accuser refuses to disclose exactly what is infringing, you've got every indication that they are bluffing, knowing you won't fight because of the cost to do so. It is (IMHO) racketeering, protectionist money, like the mob selling you fire insurance for your business... because.. you know... a fire might happen... tonight! So they pay the troll. They get their product to market. The troll gets a free ride (WHEEEE!) and makes money without lifting a finger, while the people that actually DID the hard work, watch money flow to what can best be described as a parasite; one which has learned how to hide behind the immune system (legal system), not from it.

  11. Phuq Witt

    Office suit?

    Have Microsoft branched out into the 'Rag Trade' then?

    ...or did you mean Office suite?

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  13. IGnatius T Foobar Bronze badge

    Microsoft: OIN or GTFO

    That ought to be the standard response to anyone who dares to suggest that Microsoft is no longer an aggressive monopolist: "Hey Microsoft: OIN or GTFO."

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