Microsoft has been signing up Android and Chrome OS hardware makers in patent licensing agreements for a few years now. Today, Microsoft entered into a similar arrangement with Dell but this time there was a cross-patent element, as Microsoft also agreed to use patents from Dell in one of its own hardware products lines.
Dell currently sells the Android-based Venue 7 and 8 tablets.
Microsoft's press release says that the agreement will give the company royalties from sales of Dell's Android and Chrome OS-based products. Dell sells the Android-based Venue 7 and 8 tablets, along with the Dell Chromebook 11 laptop.with Chrome OS.
However, this same patent deal also gives Microsoft a license to use patents from Dell that are being used on Microsoft's Xbox consoles. The press release does not state exactly which Dell patent or patents Microsoft is using in the Xbox hardware. Indeed, the press release doesn't reveal anything else about the specifics of the agreement.
Dell remains one of the world's biggest PC makers, even though it made the switch from a publicly traded company back to a private business in October, That change was helped along by a $2 billion loan from Microsoft.
Source: Microsoft | Image via Dell