"God, this is going to be good," we thought on spotting Sony's name on the DoJ's 'major contributions' list of public comments
Sony hasn't disappointed. This really quite sensational document opens up a new chapter in the competitive saga, and gives Microsoft a new, wealthy public opponent.
Sony is the only Microsoft Windows licensee - in other words, the only Microsoft customer - who's felt brave enough to complain about the service, that the food was cold and that the menu keeps getting more expensive each time they come back.
But Sony is also a competing superpower, which owns areas (consumer playback devices such as TVs, Walkmans, cinemas, consoles) where it wants to deny a new market player from coming in and exerting any leverage. If you can't compete in this market physically - and there's s big money in these consumer devices - you have to send a proxy: and ensure the players who are there are paying you for something: a wee tax. Licenses and royalties are the proxies, and they work either because the technology on offer fabulous, and the buyer really needs it, or through expediency, and the patent holder is erecting an expensive obstacle.