Microsoft doing well with licensing fees on the Android OS from HTC

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In what amounts to a taxation on Android, Microsoft is rolling in the “big bucks”. Thanks to licensing fees, Microsoft is making five dollars a pop on each Android smartphone made by HTC.

Microsoft is not doing so well on the mobile front with Windows Phone 7. They had a chance with Windows Mobile in the past and blew it. Now they are taking a new tack. They are charging those that make Android devices a fee for doing so. HTC is taking a five dollar hit per smartphone that is loaded with Android. Microsoft wants Samsung to cough up $15 dollars per Android handset. They are not the only companies who manufacture Android smartphones. LG, Kyocera, and Motorola are all using the “free” Android platform. Microsoft has yet to bring their case to the first two companies, but Motorola has been sued in the past for Android patent infringement.

A company named Wistron is another business paying Microsoft for using Android. Wistron owns patents related to smartphones and other devices that run the Android mobile operating system. The deal will be called a “royalty agreement” according to news outlets. The goal is to cover Wistron if in fact Microsoft ends up in litigation proceedings with Google over their use of Android. Another huge company, Oracle, is already taking Google to court over claims of Android patent infringement.

If Microsoft has success with Samsung the amount of income from the royalty agreement will be impressive. The $15 dollars per use fee can be multiplied against the number of devices sold. Samsung built 19 million mobile phones in the last quarter alone. Many of those are using Android. If only half of the 19 million handsets is considered that would add up to $142,500,000 dollars for Microsoft, all in a three month time frame.

Microsoft is predicted to be the second leading mobile operating system by the year 2015. It is going to be a long hard road, but could be done riding on the back of Android. With Wistron, the deal was made in reference to a future event that may or may not happen. Wistron was cut a “licensing deal” to overlay a possible suit covering Google Chrome, the new Google browser. That was in addition to the above Android “licensing program” as Microsoft likes to call it. Other companies not mentioned here have already been in the “gun sights” of Microsoft. General Dynamics, Onkyo, the Barnes and Noble book store and Velocity Micro.

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