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Microsoft's Most Profitable Mobile Operating System: Android

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the profit-through-judo dept.

The Almighty Buck 309

puddingebola writes "Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has a piece of commentary discussing Microsoft's profit from their patent claims on Android. From the article, 'To some, Windows 8 is a marketplace failure. But its flop has been nothing compared to Microsoft's problems in getting anyone to use its Windows Phone operating systems. You don't need to worry about Microsoft's bottom line though. Thanks to its Android patent agreements, Microsoft may be making as much as $8 per Android device. This could give Microsoft as much as $3.4 billion in 2013 from Android sales.'"

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Fuck off (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674471)

Microsoft shouldn't get one red cent from the manufacturers, or Google.

Re:Fuck off (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674519)

Why not?

If you're going to make a claim like that, you should at least say why. If they're valid, legitimate patents then I see no reason why the company shouldn't make money off them. That's how the system works.

Re:Fuck off (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674583)

In the current patent regime, it is far more likely that the patents involved are total bullsh*t. It's Microsoft that has to justify itself here. Of course it will never do that because the entire Android community could then try to code around this kind of larceny and extortion.

Although some things boil down to "being compatible".

Re:Fuck off (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674723)

Microsoft won't justify themselves, they just have to threaten to take away the Windows licence form that company and thats probably why they won;t go after Google.

Re:Fuck off (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674873)

Microsoft won't justify themselves, they just have to threaten to take away the Windows licence form that company and thats probably why they won;t go after Google.

In a relatively short period of time, that may be irrelevant... Windows Phone isn't selling for shit, and even Microsoft knows it. That leaves threats and patent pseudo-trolling as their only real income option in the mobile space.

Re:Fuck off (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675009)

I meant Windows on PC's, laptops etc not Mobile

Re:Fuck off (5, Insightful)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674735)

But Microsoft are justifying themselves. They are going to court where companies justify themselves. IANAL but if I read the news correctly they are currently crashing Motorola in each and every court they sue each other. Of course none of the cases is over yet but the "justification" has certainly began.

Re:Fuck off (3, Insightful)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674917)

Courts of law are not the only judge of what's bullsh*t. Since it's pretty clear the current court system is flawed, allowing massive abuse of the patent system, I think it's fair to ask Microsoft to justify itself to the large audience, and explain what value it's adding. This way we can make a determination whether or not it's acting like a parasite.

Re:Fuck off (1)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674977)

OK but I think you can't blame Microsoft for the patent system. They did not invent it. They suffered from it and it is well known Bill Gates warned about this. Nobody listened and Microsoft eventually proved he was correct in a "if you can't fight them join them kind of way". In my opinion the patent system for IT is currently a form of tax when entering the field. Microsoft and Apple paid it once upon a time and now they demand it from newer companies. It would be almost unfair if some companies have this obstacle while others don't. Something like applying taxes to one company but not another.

Re:Fuck off (1, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675105)

That's just like people who legally immigrated to the US getting all mad at the illegal immigrants. "I had to jump through these ridiculous hoops so they damn well should too" instead of "I had to jump through these ridiculous hoops and they suck so much I wouldn't wish them on anyone else." Sure, it is "fair" for a very narrow-mind definition of fair.

Re:Fuck off (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675343)

If they were talking about eliminating the loops, that would be one thing. But they are basically wanting to keep the loops for those who obey the law (typically the more productive and people who you want immigrating) and short-circuit them for law breakers (people who are more likely to be a drain on the welfare state).

Re:Fuck off (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675019)

Which companies have capitulated and bought an Android license via a court case that Microsoft won?

What are you saying? (1)

howardd21 (1001567) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674839)

Maybe my idiot factor is high today, but what are yous saying? if the "entire Android community could then try to code around this kind of larceny and extortion." then they should get going, because the fees from the patents are already in place. What are they waiting for?

Re:What are you saying? (5, Insightful)

unrtst (777550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675083)

What are they waiting for?

A list of exactly what is being violated?
To put it in perspective, consider the SCO-Linux lawsuits. While this isn't exactly the same, it is the same sort of hurdle.

Company A: Your stuff violates some of our stuff! Pay us or else!
Company B: What stuff?
Company A: A lot of stuff! 68 things enumerated over thousands of places to be precise. Now pay us or else!
Company B: Um, what stuff is it exactly?
Company A: Oh, you'll find out in court. Consider yourself served! ...
And for those that agree (settle out of court), it seems common for a "deal" to be offered, with one of the rules being that they don't divulge that information.

Maybe that's not the case here, but I'm betting that's at least part of it (the other part being bogus or weak patents). There may even be a couple valid ones, but as far as I know, that hasn't been fully identified.

Re:Fuck off (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674593)

The system also has promoted genocide in the past, and people just went with it because "that's how the system works". Doesn't mean we have to like it, or should avoid trying to change it.

-Godwin

Re:Fuck off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674807)

The system also has promoted genocide in the past, and people just went with it because "that's how the system works". Doesn't mean we have to like it, or should avoid trying to change it.

-Godwin

Sure. That's what you said about Nazi Germany, and look where it's gotten us.

Re:Fuck off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675145)

You know who else wanted to change the system?

Re:Fuck off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675327)

Hitler?

Re:Fuck off (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674637)

If they were valid then why has not a single one of them been published?

The only one named but not confirmed is about FAT, something easily avoided by using Ext3 or 4.

Re:Fuck off (5, Insightful)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674779)

Because this is not how patent settlements work. Patent settlements do not list patents they license the entire portfolio related to the product. This means that if tomorrow MS invents something and Google puts it in Android Samsung will be able to use it because they are paying for it even though it is not invented yet. Actual patents are only shown in court and they are certainly showing some patents when suing Motorola. The Motorola case will certainly prove if MS has relevant patents as the legal system defines them although I am sure /. people will invent a "rounded corners" meme and claim that the judge is corrupted or something.

Re:Fuck off (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674895)

The only one named but not confirmed is about FAT, something easily avoided by using Ext3 or 4.

Well, until Joe Sixpack wants to pack his micro-SD card with stuff from his Windows laptop...

Re:Fuck off (5, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674677)

this isn't how the system is designed or intended, this is how the system has been perverted.

making money off products you do not have any involvement in via patent extortion is a sign of a broken system and this is already reaching antitrust investigations.

Re:Fuck off (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674915)

...and this is already reaching antitrust investigations.

From your lips to God's ears.

Problem is, I have yet to see any sane thing like that happen yet.

Re:Fuck off (4, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674987)

Yeah?

coverage: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/04/feds-may-use-subpoena-powers-to-study-patent-trolls/ [arstechnica.com]
explanation: http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=2013041110212889 [groklaw.net]

give it a few months. The wheels are turning, slowly but surely.

Re:Fuck off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674845)

>>If they're valid, legitimate patents

Software patents are neither valid nor legitimate. Lucky us in Europe.

Re:Fuck off (2)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674999)

Motorola sued Microsoft over H.264 related patents in Germany and demanded a ban on Xbox and Windows :) Microsoft countersuit may potentially lead to the ban of Google Maps in Germany. We're far from safe from all this bullshit.

Re:Fuck off (1)

anonieuweling (536832) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675075)

Patents are generally invalid.
Did you check how long they are in place? How well they are checked? How corrupt the system around patents is?
That is how the system works.
The system needs a big change.

Re:Fuck off (5, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675291)

There's no such thing as a legitimate software patent.

WP8 Isn't all bad (-1, Offtopic)

Captain_Loser (601474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674493)

I actually use a Nokia Lumia 920 (gasp) and I actually like Windows Phone 8. It doesn't have a massive "app store" like the Play store or iOS but it does seem to have everything I use. The OS itself is great, very fluid and smooth. I also like that it's not a carbon copy of "icons on desktop" like android or iOS. If Microsoft had pushed out the OS a couple of years earlier the mobile phone market would likely be a very different place.

Re:WP8 Isn't all bad (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674549)

If Microsoft had pushed out the OS a couple of years earlier the mobile phone market would likely be a very different place.

Yep, and if my grandma had wheels she'd be a WAGON.

Re:WP8 Isn't all bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674863)

"What has two wheels and moves really fast?

Me! Holding two wheels"

                                                                                                  (Mr T, World's Craziest Fools)

Re:WP8 Isn't all bad (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674667)

well, few years ago they thought that it was nice to have an actual os.

there's nice things about wp8. being a smartphone os isn't one of them though. feature by feature it's a featurephone. no taskswitcher, no proper multitasking(STILL!).. which is just fine for phones but not for gigantic multimedia slabs like the 920. sure, not much venues for malware either, since there's just so much you can do if you as the owner of the device actually want to do..

though I don't know what's so great about rectangles on desktop or icons and text on a mile long list instead of icons on desktop... only having selections on screen for relevant things isn't that bad though.

yeah yeah it's understandable why they don't allow proper multitasking when a trivial app easily gobs up 40 megs of ram whilst it's on foreground. don't ask me where the fuck the memory is going, the program logic in these apps was done in less than a meg on phones 10 years ago.. and the increase in resolution doesn't add up to the memory usage.

Re:WP8 Isn't all bad (1)

Luuseens (1422579) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674719)

Except it does actually have a taskswitcher.

Re:WP8 Isn't all bad (3, Informative)

Code Yanker (2359188) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675113)

There is a task switcher (hold down the back button and a list pops up with thumbnails from your open app). Also, with WP8, any app can run in the background as long as it conforms to certain rules about resource utilization. Not many apps use the feature yet, but the key ones like Skype do, where you want the app to do something even if the app is running in the background.

Re:WP8 Isn't all bad (-1, Flamebait)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674823)

I assume you are a geek. You might want to check my visual brainfuck interpreter (called BF for WP). It sure beats the ones I've seen on Android. Then you may claim to your Android geek friends that WP has better apps because it has better brainfuck interpreters :)

Yes, this post is shameless self-promotion... of WP app... on /. I am doing one hell of a marketing.

Re:WP8 Isn't all bad (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674875)

It doesn't have a massive "app store" like the Play store or iOS but it does seem to have everything I use.

Duh! Of course it has everything you USE. You couldn't use it if it wasn't on your phone. However, that tells us nothing about whether it has everything you *want*, or everything you *need*.

Linux (3, Interesting)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674497)

So after all... Microsoft is making money on Linux.

Re:Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674539)

Which is nice, given all that they've contributed to Linux.

Re:Linux (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674595)

...in an extremely limited and entirely self-serving way.

Redhat and Suse deserve those billions far more than Microsoft does. Even Canonical has a better claim.

Re:Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674821)

cry moar

Re:Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674985)

I'm glad this is happening. It amuses me to no end to see wimpy little Linux bitches like you get butthurt. It's the next best thing to kicking your ass myself.

Re:Linux (0)

TrueSpeed (576528) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674675)

Which is nice, given all that they've contributed to Linux.

I wouldn't call junk a contribution.

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675077)

Which is nice, given all that they've contributed to Linux.

And for a good number of years, shipped products that ran on Linux.

And fully supports Linux in Azure.

Re:Linux (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674661)

So after all... Microsoft is making money on Linux.

2013 is the year of Linux revenue in Microsoft's pocket!

Re:Linux (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674707)

Well, not exactly. This is bloat. 3.4 billion dollars of bloat.

first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674513)

yeeeeehaaaahhh!!!!!!!

Does anyone have a list of the patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674565)

What technology is MS licensing?

Why can't we / someone work around it?

 

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (5, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674639)

The main ones are long filenames in FAT, ex-FAT for > 32GB SD cards, and ActiveSync.

There are alternatives for all of these, but in the case of Activesync alternatives, they are not as good, and in the case of FAT, it means getting the same filesystem drivers onto other computers and devices.

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674681)

but in the case of Activesync alternatives, they are not as good

What do you mean, "they're not as good"? What's so magical and special about ActiveSync (whatever that is) that no other protocol for synchronizing nodes in a distributed system (DB servers, remote file systems, collaborative text editors...) can't beat it?

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (3, Interesting)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674783)

ActiveSync works. With Exchange. It just works. But it is easily replaced by going to GMAIL and GCalendars. ActiveSync is what killed BlackBerry servers, as it does most everything most people want or need. Not everything, but good enough.

Trust me when I say this, nothing else comes close to Exchange for total functionality. Problem is, it is Microsoft, and horribly expensive. Someone making a ground up replacement to Exchange would make a killing, especially if they give it away for free (j/k).

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (2, Informative)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674881)

But it is easily replaced by going to GMAIL and GCalendars.

Kinda' true, but no business of any reasonable size is going to use Google for email and calendaring. Google also doesn't do tasks, notes, etc.

And, FYI, Outlook/Exchange isn't all that expensive. I pay for subscriptions to a service for it, and it's reasonable.

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (2)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674817)

ActiveSync is for receiving email from Exchange or other compatible email servers and syncronising calendar, contact etc items. The alternatives are things like IMAP IDLE, but they generally use more data bandwidth and more battery power than ActiveSync.

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675271)

Exchange or other compatible email servers

LOL.

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674867)

Maybe you should educate yourself before you make stupid claims. You only show your ignorance with statements like this

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675111)

Maybe you should educate yourself before you make stupid claims

I've posed two questions and zero claims. How can a set of two questions and zero claims contain stupid claims is beyond me. I know you're just a trolling AC, but still...

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674879)

Exchange is still pretty much king in the email world. You have a few options that try to emulate it(or at least its feature set) but really they don't have it yet. Googles own option is pretty much web only and gmail just can't really compete with it. Having a single link to manage a devices contacts, email, calendar, tasks(if the device supports it) along with other features to lock down the device and if need be erase it works a lot better then multiple ones.

I'm sure someone will chime in and talk about imap setups that give you some of the mail sync features but they are usually slower from what I've seen and really don't hold up against activesync or outlook anywhere syncing.

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675081)

You have a few options that try to emulate it(or at least its feature set) but really they don't have it yet.

What exactly *is* its "feature set" that you claim is unique to ActiveSync? It still makes little sense to me, the problem of synchronizing two sets of data in disparate locations is pevasive and well-researched: multi-master RDBMS replication, rsync, Unison, distributed VCS (Darcs, Git. Mercurial), collaborative text editors, directory services synchronization... I'm being serious, this is actually an area I'm interested in and I'd like to know why mobile data synchronization, of all data synchronization protocols, is so ill-serviced. There doesn't seem to be any objective reason for that to be the case.

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (4, Interesting)

ssam (2723487) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674721)

any good reason not to use UDF for large flash cards? it has read and write support in linux, mac and windows. I use it for USB sticks.

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (3, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674785)

any good reason not to use UDF for large flash cards? it has read and write support in linux, mac and windows. I use it for USB sticks.

This is why I read slashdot.

Apparently it had passed me by that UDF is for anything other than DVDs (I know technically you can have any FS on any block device on Linux). I am actually going to try this on my next USB stick.

Thanks!

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674955)

any good reason not to use UDF for large flash cards? it has read and write support in linux, mac and windows. I use it for USB sticks.

You still need to support FAT to read everyone's shit.

Re: Does anyone have a list of the patents? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675247)

Not really, a lot of devices have non removable SD cards.

UDF file format (3, Informative)

hankwang (413283) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675325)

any good reason not to use UDF for large flash cards?

I have no personal experience here, but this UDF compatibility matrix [wikipedia.org] does not look too promising. Apparently there are five UDF versions and three variants within each version, and only the oldest versions (from 1996-1997) actually have wide OS support.

A bit more googling produces more comments from users about tricky [ortolo.eu] incompatibilities [linuxforums.org] .

Re:Does anyone have a list of the patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675169)

Not sure if it's caused by ActiveSync itself or if it's a limitation of WMDC, but it's annoying to only be able to plug one sync-able device in to a single computer at a time.

My desk currently has:
- A Motorola MC3190, Windows CE 6.0 ruggedized barcode scanner
- An Intermec CS40, Windows Mobile 6.5 cellular barcode scanner
- A Motorola MC65, Windows Mobile 6.5 ruggedized cellular barcode scanner
- And my personal Samsung Galaxy S3.
- Occasionally it also has an ancient Blackberry for a week while I'm the on-call support dev.

The barcode scanners have to connect through WMDC in order to talk to Visual Studio or to be browsable as a file system. My personal phone mostly just recharges, but occasionally I swap music to/from its internal storage. I have it configured as USB mass storage, just so it doesn't use WMDC (or try to sync to Exchange, after all, it's a personal phone). And the Blackberry, when attached, is fully company-controlled and connected to Exchange.

If these devices are plugged in or on a cradle, they charge without any problem. But to get one of them to connect to WMDC, I usually have to unplug/uncradle the one that currently has a connection, then replug/recradle the one that I need to work with. Then I have to wait for WMDC to detect it and start up. WMDC is the slowest program in the history of mankind, and it lags everything all to hell when it's doing anything. Why the hell can't WMDC manage a list of connected devices? Why can't it run faster? These are all mysteries that we'll never solve without the help of guns. Remember, kids, being pro-gun-control means being anti-violently-forcing-the-WMDC-developers-to-fix-their-shit. Do you really want to live in that world?

said it before (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674589)

If Microsoft can make enough money operating simply operating as a patent troll maybe they can leave the actual software market to people who actually know how to write and maintain software rather than as license extortionists for software that has only become a de facto standard through marketing and guile and really doesn't run very well.

iOS vs Android (0)

cheatch (1713998) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674635)

Interesting that Android is more commonly used, however since iOS smartphones cost so much more (I'm assuming?), they have more of the market share in that pie chart.

http://techland.time.com/2013/04/16/ios-vs-android/

And it could be even more Profitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674651)

If like Windows Mobile.. they shutdown the Windows Phone project and focus on what they are good at. Or people actually want to buy.

The developers working on Windows Phone could be shifted over to Xbox or Office.

I can't imagine how big the losses are in Windows Phone, but if they invest all the Android Money at beating their own success licensing to Android.. because they think they will gain back the over 50% market share [from themselves??] It could be tripled damages to Microsoft's bottom line.

As an investor in Microsoft.. I think shareholders would revolt at their waste.

Learn from a past president, declare Victory and move on.

The Solution (5, Interesting)

TrueSpeed (576528) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674657)

All Google needs to do is offer a commercial licence, for a small fee, to all Android OEM's that indemnifies them. This way if Microsoft has an issue with Android or Linux they can take on Google directly. But, we all know that would never happen because Microsoft clearly knows that Google would single handily invalidate all of their obvious, worthless and prior art ridden patents one by one.

Re:The Solution (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674787)

Solution to what? Microsoft is being careful here to (1) license, at reasonable rates, its IP, and (2) concentrate only on phone manufacturers (meaning they're at least ahering to the spirit of the original Appeals Court ruling legalizing some software patents, which said that it's OK to patent software as long as it's a part of physical device. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_v._Diehr [wikipedia.org] I believe, though I may have the wrong case, I'm going by memory.)

While we can have a debate about the fairness of forcing hardware makers to license patents on a FRAND basis, it'll never be the same issue that it is for software. Hardware makers expect to have per-object costs, they're never going to have any kind of business model that does not expect a certain about of revenue per thing produced.

I don't see any evidence that HTC, Samsung, et al are fuming about having to pay money to Microsoft. They are upset about Apple's armtwisting, but that's largely because Apple's hostility to Android to begin with, with patents being used and abused to attempt to close the competing platform down rather than make money from it, and Apple's reluctance to license FRAND patents on the technologies it uses to build iPhones at the going rate.

Microsoft isn't really being much of a problem here.

Re:The Solution (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674925)

Microsoft isn't really being much of a problem here.

You seem to be confusing form for content. Yes, MS is following the form of "FRAND" but what they are FRANDing is itself not reasonable. If MS had a legitimate set of patents, they wouldn't keep them a secret. FFS patents are public documents.

Re:The Solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674937)

The point is what Microsoft is doing is morally wrong.
They're extorting money from these companies for nothing. The cellphone makers aren't using any valid patents that Microsoft actually owns.
It's like a protection racket.

Re:The Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674843)

Then why doesn't Google do it. Maybe its because they know they are infringing Microsoft patents and don't want to become involved because Microsoft might hand Google their ass on a platter

Re:The Solution (2, Insightful)

howardd21 (1001567) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674885)

If Google could "single handily invalidate all of their obvious, worthless and prior art ridden patents one by one" and just charged $5 for the Android license every Mfg would save $3 per device. So why not just do it? It's money on the table for the whole ecosystem. Maybe they can't do it as easily as you think.

Re:The Solution (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675045)

So why not just do it? It's money on the table for the whole ecosystem.

If one company stands up to MS and loses, MS will certainly charge them more for the licensing. But if they win, all the manufacturers will benefit equally as the patents will be invalidated for everyone. So the risk of failing in a challenge is not proportional to the benefit of wining the challenge.

As it is now, each manufacturer can just pass the licensing fees through to the end customer and since all the major android manufacturers (presumably) have roughly the same licensing costs there is no competitive disadvantage to paying the microsoft tax.

Re:The Solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674935)

Google would single handily invalidate all of their obvious, worthless and prior art ridden patents one by one.

That is quite the wild assumption. You take those things to court and it can go either way. I worked with another company where it was obvious the other company basically copied it and 'stole' the tech that my company had spent 15 years making and selling. It went against my company because of technicalities. Basically removing the ability to fight others who did the same thing. In fact it got so bad my company ended up having to pull crap off the shelf because of stuff it had invented but was patented by someone else after the company had been selling it for 5+ years already.

Both Google (thru motorola and on its own) and MS (thru its 15 years of wince stuff and 30+ years of making product) have patents here.

Do not assume all of MS's patents are 'obvious' because you want it to be that way.

Most patent lawyers recommend settle than court...

Re:The Solution (0)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675317)

All Google needs to do is offer a commercial licence, for a small fee, to all Android OEM's that indemnifies them. This way if Microsoft has an issue with Android or Linux they can take on Google directly. But, we all know that would never happen because Microsoft clearly knows that Google would single handily invalidate all of their obvious, worthless and prior art ridden patents one by one.

That will not happen because Google can't protect itself(i.e the Motorola it bought which loses billions every year by the way because of making crap phones), how can it protect its partners? It's about to get bitchslapped for trying to abuse FRAND standard patents on H.264 and WiFi for extortion.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/05/06/eu-rules-googles-motorola-abused-patents-in-seeking-injunction-against-apple [appleinsider.com]
http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/26/4271432/does-anyone-know-why-google-bought-motorola [theverge.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/07/technology/07iht-google07.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com]
http://www.zdnet.com/in-microsoft-patent-spat-ruling-hints-that-google-grossly-overpaid-for-motorola-7000014582/ [zdnet.com]
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-29/motorola-buy-delivers-google-more-heartbreak-than-help.html [bloomberg.com]
http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-slapped-google-around-in-court-and-its-becoming-clear-google-overpaid-for-motorola-2013-4 [businessinsider.com]

Re:The Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675319)

So, instead of a Microsoft Tax you want a Google Tax.

Got it.

It's Too Long Ago (2, Insightful)

mk1004 (2488060) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674669)

From the Constitution: "...by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their..." The patents are from the Jurassic age, in software years.

Re:It's Too Long Ago (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674967)

At least patents are still limited, unlike copyright which is effectively beyond a lifetime.

Insightful - So they could be making even more (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674687)

So if Windows Phone were shutdown.

There would be no barrier to native Office for Android, or Office for Apple iOS devices. [Just like the old days, competing with Wordstar and Lotus or Borland]

Even better they could shift the developers for Windows Phone over to developing Mobile versions of all their Apps and tools to Android and iOS versions.

They should "own" the Mobile App market on Android and iOS, and stop loosing money on Windows Phone.

The current mindset of tossing good money after bad.. is just plain stupidity and stubborness.. its a culture of "we can't be wrong".

Re:Insightful - So they could be making even more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674883)

This.

Since they already make more on Android than they do Windows Phone, they should be doing this regardless if they shut Windows Phone down or not.

If they can't compete with the crap like Polaris Office, they don't deserve to be in business anyway.

Barnes & Nobel $1 billion payoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674825)

B&N were sued over these 'patents'. B&N counterclaimed, on the basis that the patents they had seen were garbage, and Microsoft wouldn't show what it was claiming unless an NDA was signed.

Microsoft did a deal with B&N, they set up a joint subsidiary, Nook Media, into which Microsoft would invest, and B&N would switch from Android and license these imaginary patents Microsoft was claiming. But see, it wasn't like MS *bought* them off, no sir, that would raise anti-trust concerns, no, they were *investing* in a subsidiary.

No surprises then, that B&N is being bought out for $1 billion:
http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/09/microsoft-nook-media/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget

So the effect is Microsoft paid $1 billion to Barnes and Noble in exchange for them licensing patents that are so weak, Microsoft won't discuss them in public.

And every deal has been like that, Nokia got $2 billion not to switch to Android, Samsung got a big payoff, HTC did. Submitted pretends Microsoft is making money off Android using these patents, but its really just handing a big wad of cash and receiving it back very slowly. In exchange the handset maker supports Microsoft's phone platform.

Windows Phone equals RIM at rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674837)

No traction, no attraction.

The problem with Windows Phone, is apathetic lack of interest in the "same thing" from yet another company, that makes things hard on customers.

Have you even tried to find a Windows Phone? "Scarce as Hens teeth.." as my Grandmother used to say.

About the only way you might get one is order one online and avoid any sort of help online from people.. first person you talk to will try to sway you away from one.

I gave up.. I actually wanted to develop apps for it.. and it just became too much frustration.. so I got an Android phone to develop for Microsoft's "other platform"

Situation totally reminds me of Windows Mobile, same people must be running that division.. or they got soaked in the same gasoline and are burning money like its going out of style.

At least give Microsoft credit.. they finally.. finally shut down Xune. And finally, finally, finally shutdown Windows Mobile.

They would ahve done better to buy Palm or bought Blackberry.

Microsoft just doesn't know how to do Mobile.

As for home theatre, they should use iSCSI everywhere.. quietest drive possible.. and they embed iSCSI target and initator in every windows product.

Re:Windows Phone equals RIM at rest (4, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674931)

Funny you say that. I have a Windows Phone. Several people I know have Windows Phones. We all like 'em quite a bit. Bought 'em at a local Verizon store. Much better than the alternatives.

Why all the FUD?

Re:Windows Phone equals RIM at rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675027)

FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt - none of those elements are present in the above post. It's simply an account that that differs from your personal experience. It may or may not be true, but it's not FUD.

Re:Windows Phone equals RIM at rest (2)

tgd (2822) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675147)

FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt - none of those elements are present in the above post. It's simply an account that that differs from your personal experience. It may or may not be true, but it's not FUD.

Well, to be fair its actually just bullshit that differs from reality, posted with the intent of creating FUD.

Every sentence in the GP was factually incorrect. The ones that were opinion based are clearly lies (like them not being available -- every single Verizon and ATT store in the US carries them, every authorized reseller will also have them available). I suspect the "I actually wanted to develop for it" was a lie, too... given that they're so easy to find and the dev tools are free for it.

Re:Windows Phone equals RIM at rest (1)

evilmidnightbomber77 (2891503) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675171)

I have been issued a work one and I hate the bugger. Non-intuitive and a half.

Re:Windows Phone equals RIM at rest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675357)

So is it really non-intuitive, or is it simply "different than what you're used to"?

My non-techie parents have one. They figured it out in seconds. My parents tried to use my brothers Android and they can't figure out how to even make a phone call.

Re:Windows Phone equals RIM at rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675235)

FUD? What planet are you living on.. even the Bermuda Triangle is still waiting for its first shipment.

this will work out (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674869)

as a near-term 'water bailing' strategy for microsoft but at some point, google will either adopt smarter strategies to avoid the patents entirely, buy the patents outright, or challenge them in court. considering how microsoft has been almost worthless for more than a decade in the smart phone industry though ill have to quote the words of Tony Stark, "You're missing the point. There's no throne, there is no version of this, where you come out on top."

Or Debian will release the "Un"Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674907)

I can't believe there isn't an GNUphone yet.

RMS must be spinning in his chair.

Or the GnomePhone

Re:Or Debian will release the "Un"Phone (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675057)

Tsk Tsk:

GNU/Phone

Re:Or Debian will release the "Un"Phone (1)

dehole (1577363) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675249)

RMS does not believe in mobile telephones, because they innately track your location, which limits your freedom...

Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43674903)

The tapeworm of the technology sector.

I'll keep hiding (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674941)

..in my ivory tower built from free software and dumbphones.
I don't share your pain.

Re:I'll keep hiding (3, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675195)

That is, until Microsoft asserts patent ownership on the stuff in your free software.

I believe several times they've claimed that Linux violates a number of unspecified patents they hold, but I don't believe they've ever been willing to disclose what they are.

One does have to wonder what these patents are, if the patents would survive scrutiny, or if the technology was actually invented by someone else before Microsoft patented it.

next on the s.v.n. show... (1, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | about a year and a half ago | (#43674979)

It's like slashdot is Vaughan-Nichols's own private distribution channel. Slashdot stories quoting or linking to him in reverse chronological order:

Microsoft's Most Profitable Mobile Operating System: Android [slashdot.org] : May 09, 2013
Microsoft's "New Coke" Moment? [slashdot.org] : May 06, 2013
Windows: Not Doomed Yet [slashdot.org] : April 19, 2013
UEFI Secure Boot and Linux: Where Things Stand [slashdot.org] : August 03, 2012
Linus' Lessons On Software Dev Management [slashdot.org] : September 26, 2011
7 Days With a Google Chromebook [slashdot.org] : July 18, 2011
Linux-Friendly Alternatives To Skype [slashdot.org] : May 19, 2011
Bill Gates Doesn't Work At Microsoft Anymore [slashdot.org] : June 23, 2010
Here Come the Linux iPad Clones [slashdot.org] : March 12, 2010
Fast Wi-Fi's Slow Road To Standardization [slashdot.org] : December 10, 2009
Apple Pushes Unwanted Software To PCs, Again [slashdot.org] : September 28, 2009
London Stock Exchange To Abandon Windows [slashdot.org] : July 03, 2009
Confirmed Gmail / Google App Outage [slashdot.org] : May 14, 2009
Why It's Not Business As Usual For Microsoft [slashdot.org] : June 09, 2008
Malware vs. Anti-Malware, 20 Years Into The Fray [slashdot.org] : May 06, 2008
Truth Behind the ClearType/OpenSUSE FUD [slashdot.org] : April 12, 2007
Groklaw No Front for IBM [slashdot.org] : February 15, 2007

That was only the first 3-4 pages of google results.

Re:next on the s.v.n. show... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675289)

Or, maybe being a writer for ZDNet he writes things which are frequently of interest to us?

Three whole times in 2013 so far, wow, there must be some kind of conspiracy.

Re:next on the s.v.n. show... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675331)

That would be 17 articles in 6 years. I think Vaughan-Nichols publishes several articles per week. Being in /. two o three times a year is not that great. And the guy is insightful sometimes.

Hard to get is sexy, but this is ridiculous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43675013)

Microsoft should take a lesson from Apple.

Withdraw Windows Phone, don't make it late, delayed, or stop updating it.

Completely desupport and withdraw it from the market.

Seed the market with great Mobile apps based on Office, Sharepoint, Lync/Skype on the popular platforms.

Then release hints and inuendo about a super secret skunk works project .. like Courier.. for Phones.. perhaps a Mini-Courier.. a fold out phone.. a phone that becomes a desktop.. a phone that will plug into a desktop and [own] its keyboard, display.. like a Rasberry Pi.. "Make it Your Own" should be the motto

Make it a "PolyMorphic" platform.. and then.. don't release it.

Build tension and demand.. let the market tell you what it wants..

Then.. and only then.. bring it

I just don't get it? (4, Interesting)

NormHome (99305) | about a year and a half ago | (#43675123)

Why are manufacturers paying this extortion rather than banding together and trying to fight it like any other patent troll?

What is Google's position on this and why aren't they indemnifying manufacturers that use Android or fighting this themselves?

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