Microsoft signs Android licensing deal with Quanta Computer

In just the latest in its series of licensing agreements, Microsoft announced today that it has signed a patent deal with Quanta Computer that will enable Microsoft to receive a royalty from the sales of Quanta's smartphones, tablets, and other devices that use Google's Android and Chrome operating systems. The specifics about the new patent deal were not revealed. In a statement. Microsoft corporate vice-president Horacio Gutierrez said, "We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Quanta, and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace."

Taiwan-based Quanta was founded in 1988. It is the single largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world, making laptops for every major PC seller like Apple, HP, Dell, Lenovo and others. It has just recently started to sell smartphones, tablets and notebooks under its own brand.

Microsoft has been making patent deals with a number of makers of Android and Chrome based products that give Microsoft a slice of every product sold. Agreements have been made with companies like HTC, Acer, Onkyo and most recently Samsung.

During a conference call with analysts following the release of its quarterly financial numbers, Google CEO Larry Page took a shot at Microsoft on the subject of these licensing deals. News.com reports that Page said, "They've continued resorting to legal measures to hassle their partners. It's odd." He added that so far Google has not seen any impact on Android as a result of Microsoft's actions, saying, "We're seeing no signs that that's effective. If anything, our position is getting stronger."

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jasonon said,
its amazing how microsoft makes bank off andriod

It's really amazing how Google profits off of other's IP... Time and time again...

Larry Page actually thinks MS is pursuing these licensing arrangements to weaken Android?

The man's not as smart as I gave him credit for.

smot said,
Larry Page actually thinks MS is pursuing these licensing arrangements to weaken Android?

Doesn't everyone know that?

TechJunkie81 said,

Microsoft...protecting their IP from thieves like Google.

You don't know what you are saying. Microsoft is not having license deal with Google because there is nothing to deal with. They are dealing with Manufactures.

Nucleotide said,
Microsoft... can't beat them, rob them instead!

I guess it is too much to ask Google to remove/rework the offending code then? If this was baseless they would never sign the deal. The fact that they are all doing basically says Google used it without permission and they now have OEMs busting their balls. So they lash out at MS instead of fix it?

zeke009 said,

I guess it is too much to ask Google to remove/rework the offending code then?

Just wondering where does it say Google has violated the license? And which offending code are you talking about?

zeke009 said,

I guess it is too much to ask Google to remove/rework the offending code then?

Microsoft signs NDA's with each OEM to stop that very thing.
zeke009 said,

If this was baseless they would never sign the deal. The fact that they are all doing

Except they aren't. Neither Motorola or B&N have surrendered to these extortion tactics.
zeke009 said,

basically says Google used it without permission and they now have OEMs busting their balls. So they lash out at MS instead of fix it?

Patents can only be worked around if they are revealed. Again, Microsoft prefers not to disclose such details and prefers to sign NDA's, then continue to threaten and intimidate. Most of their threats revolve around the FAT patents, which have never been tested in court. But that will change soon when the Motorola case goes to court.

Joey S said,

Except they aren't. Neither Motorola or B&N have surrendered to these extortion tactics.

So, because a couple of companies aren't working out licensing deals with Microsoft means the case isn't valid? Come on... That's just silly...

Joey S said,

Microsoft signs NDA's with each OEM to stop that very thing.

You do know that Google can sue to find out what the infringing patents are, right? And since Android is OSS, the OEMs could work around the patent claims themselves anyways


EDIT: Wait, I just realized, you keep claiming that there is a single patent in this that MS is using, and that it's their FAT patent! Now all Google has to do is move to EXT3 and boom, no more patent deals from MS

/s

LOL, what a lack of view from the CEO, the point of MS for making deals with companies that produce Android is not to destroy or weaken the market, its just protecting the patents and getting a slice of the pie, not like Apple's case.

erikpienk said,
LOL, what a lack of view from the CEO, the point of MS for making deals with companies that produce Android is not to destroy or weaken the market, its just protecting the patents and getting a slice of the pie, not like Apple's case.

Why do they NEVER reveal the specifics of the deal? If it's protecting their patents, why don't they say what they are? It's more likely that it's cheaper than a long drawn out legal battle, and if they ever released the details everyone could band together and figure out ways to not get in bed with them.

farmeunit said,

Why do they NEVER reveal the specifics of the deal? If it's protecting their patents, why don't they say what they are? It's more likely that it's cheaper than a long drawn out legal battle, and if they ever released the details everyone could band together and figure out ways to not get in bed with them.

The specifics probably vary from one vendor to another. Besides, patent licensing is simply an aspect of business. Not every large company takes instant offense to these kinds of things like anonymous Internet people do.

farmeunit said,

Why do they NEVER reveal the specifics of the deal? If it's protecting their patents, why don't they say what they are? It's more likely that it's cheaper than a long drawn out legal battle, and if they ever released the details everyone could band together and figure out ways to not get in bed with them.


Samsung and Quanta are both larger than Microsoft. You really think a company like Samsung that has shown it has no problem with counter-suing Apple, would just lie down and take it from Microsoft?

These aren't some random small businesses that can't afford to fight a legal battle with MS.

farmeunit said,

Why do they NEVER reveal the specifics of the deal?

Because if the details were revealed a number of things would happen:
1. Programmers would work around the patents so Microsoft could no longer make threats.
2. Microsoft might get investigated for anti-competitive practises. Forcing OEMS to make your product using threats (legal and otherwise) is a perfect example of antitrust. It's long been suspected that Microsoft uses this same tactic against computer manufacturers to maintain its monopoly.

farmeunit said,

If it's protecting their patents

It's not about protecting patents, if it was, Microsoft would go after GNU/Linux produces like Redhat and Canonical too, or even Google themselves, who sell the Android Nexus Phone. It's all about forcing OEMS to favour their OS instead of Android, much like they do in the desktop market.

farmeunit said,

, why don't they say what they are?

Microsoft prefer to keep everything hush hush so they can continue to threaten and intimidate competitors. It's safe to say that the FAT long/short file name patent, one that has already been invalidated once, is the crux of their strategy, We'll see anyway when Microsoft vs Motorola and vs B&N go to court.

/- Razorfold said,

Samsung and Quanta are both larger than Microsoft. You really think a company like Samsung that has shown it has no problem with counter-suing Apple, would just lie down and take it from Microsoft?

These aren't some random small businesses that can't afford to fight a legal battle with MS.

Exactly. I love how the Android fan base acts like Microsoft's going after mom and pop's that are building Android devices in their basement...

If there wasn't a case, they wouldn't be working out these deals. It's as simple as that.

LOL, what a lack of view from the CEO, the point of MS for making deals with companies that produce Android is not to destroy or weaken the market, its just protecting the patents and getting a slice of the pie, not like Apple's case.

I couldn't agree more! Somehow Google seems to have a really big problem with understanding the concept of IP…

erikpienk said,
LOL, what a lack of view from the CEO, the point of MS for making deals with companies that produce Android is not to destroy or weaken the market, its just protecting the patents and getting a slice of the pie, not like Apple's case.

So it's a coincidence that the licensing fee is slightly higher than WP7? It's pretty obvious to anyone technically minded that Microsoft are using patents to force manufacturers to produce WP7 devices, make Android more expensive than WP7, and scare off OEMS.

It doesn't take a genius to work that out. However, as Page said, it's not working. If anything it's creating resentment against Microsoft among hardware partners. When Microsoft lose the Motorola and B&N court cases and their FAT patents get invalided again, Microsoft wont get any more revenue from Android makers.

MFH said,
I couldn't agree more! Somehow Google seems to have a really big problem with understanding the concept of IP…

Exactly. Had Google handled things better they wouldn't have this problem. They have no one to blame but themselves...

Joey S said,

So it's a coincidence that the licensing fee is slightly higher than WP7? It's pretty obvious to anyone technically minded that Microsoft are using patents to force manufacturers to produce WP7 devices, make Android more expensive than WP7, and scare off OEMS.

It doesn't take a genius to work that out. However, as Page said, it's not working. If anything it's creating resentment against Microsoft among hardware partners. When Microsoft lose the Motorola and B&N court cases and their FAT patents get invalided again, Microsoft wont get any more revenue from Android makers.

If there wasn't a case, Microsoft wouldn't be able to work out these deals with these OEM's... Samsung for example is a large company that could more than fight if they wanted to...

Joey S said,
make Android more expensive than WP7, and scare off OEMS.

Android is already more expensive than WP as every manufacturer has to/does implement his own UI…

Joey S said,

So it's a coincidence that the licensing fee is slightly higher than WP7? It's pretty obvious to anyone technically minded that Microsoft are using patents to force manufacturers to produce WP7 devices, make Android more expensive than WP7, and scare off OEMS.

It doesn't take a genius to work that out. However, as Page said, it's not working. If anything it's creating resentment against Microsoft among hardware partners. When Microsoft lose the Motorola and B&N court cases and their FAT patents get invalided again, Microsoft wont get any more revenue from Android makers.

First off, what makes you think that the FAT patent is the only thing MS has going for them in this?

Second, how do you know that the patent licencing fee is higher than the WP7 licencing fee? I've only seen one rumor as to what the patent fee was worked out to by ONE OEM, and that was Samsung (HTC did tell of a price MS was going after, but negotiations hadn't finished so you can't take that as cannon)

I haven't read more than rumors as to what the WP fee is, but if it's like the old WM fee, it varies from $8 to $15 per device, and the rumors on the patent fee is that it costs between $5 and $15 per device, so even based on rumors, I don't see that claim holding too much weight