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Microsoft's Hottest New Profit Center: Android

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the follow-the-money dept.

Microsoft 276

jbrodkin writes "One of Microsoft's hottest new profit centers is a smartphone platform you've definitely heard of: Android. Google's Linux-based mobile operating system is a favorite target for Microsoft's patent attorneys, who are suing numerous Android vendors and just today announced that another manufacturer has agreed to write checks to Microsoft every time it ships an Android device. Vendors paying off Microsoft for the right to use Android now include HTC, Velocity Micro, General Dynamics, Onkyo Corp. and Wistron. Microsoft likely makes more money from Android than its own Windows phone platform, and its latest patent agreement announced Tuesday indicates Microsoft is also going after Google's Linux-based Chromebooks."

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MS-Brain Tumor v1.01 (0)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665226)


Will people then be able to sue Microsoft for the brain tumors and what-not caused by all "their" radiation-spewing intellectual property?

Can't wait for that day to come, cell phones cause endless aches and pains we treat on a constant basis. It's only getting worse as kids carry these things, we've seen the effect in a (hope you're sitting down) 9 year old patient. His parents made him carry a cell for emergencies. The end result? Nerve issues around the spot in his pocket where he carried the cell.

It was only through aggressive manipulation that he was cured. He now carries his cell in his backpack, well away from his body.

Take care,
Bob

Re:MS-Brain Tumor v1.01 (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665350)

You heard it here first, folks; Dr. Bob the chiropractic quack practices "aggressive manipulation" on 9 year old boys.

Re:MS-Brain Tumor v1.01 (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665392)

You heard it here first, folks; Dr. Bob the chiropractic quack practices "aggressive manipulation" on 9 year old boys.

Oh man, stop it, you're getting me all hot and bothered.

Re:MS-Brain Tumor v1.01 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665420)

What about those of us getting "nerve issues" from your quack "medicine" and constant trolling of /.? Will you aggressively manipulate us, too? ...will you at least take me out to dinner first?

Re:MS-Brain Tumor v1.01 (1)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665442)

I have thousands of satisfied patients and hundreds of FB friends. "Quack" indeed.

Re:MS-Brain Tumor v1.01 (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665490)

You know, last I heard, hundreds of Facebook friends was almost the exact same thing as a medical license. In fact, once I get a few more friends I intent to remove my own appendix.

Re:MS-Brain Tumor v1.01 (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665620)

lol, man I wish I had mod points... :)

Re:MS-Brain Tumor v1.01 (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665572)

To what extent could some of those "aches and pains" be caused by something other than Electromagnetic Fields? E.g. talking on the phone with someone who is making you angry or stressed (e.g. afraid your boss is unhappy and you'll get fired; or your girlfriend/wife is chewing you a new one; etc)?

Stress can certainly add 'aches and pains' to people, and I would not at all be surprised if the increase in people carrying cellphones has resulted in more stress due to the increased frequency which you might engage in such communications, because you can easily be reached 24 hours/day.

When Is A Company.... (0, Offtopic)

mlauzon (818714) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665238)

When is a company that produces ANDROID-based phones going to stand up to MS and tell them enough is enough, ANDROID is Linux-based, and Linux is not Windows.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665286)

Linux is operating system and Android is software system what use it
NT is operating system and Windows is software system what use it

NT and Linux has nothing to do with themselfs
Windows and Android by default neither but it depens has Android distributor added some features what MS has patented like Exchange API's.

Re:When Is A Company.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665398)

WTF?

Re:When Is A Company.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665610)

Indeed, that's worth a WTFF !?
Windows: apparently it's the operating system that isn't an operating system when it's a "software system".

Re:When Is A Company.... (2)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665426)

I have no idea what that meant, but I like it.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665642)

That means that Android is not just Linux. A distro of Linux could be free and clear of any MS patents but another distro (or Android for that matter) could violate a MS patent. Just being able to use the Linux kernel in your product doesn't mean that MS may not have a real claim to some of the other technology that is paired up with it.

Re:When Is A Company.... (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665668)

Might is try I is probably not understand comment yours.

Re:When Is A Company.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665290)

When is Google going to back up the platform?

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

matazar (1104563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665348)

I'm surprised they haven't already honestly.
I'm also surprised that none of the big manufacturers did.

Patent wars are getting ridiculous.

Re:When Is A Company.... (4, Interesting)

dclozier (1002772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665296)

Barnes & Noble is standing up to Microsoft. (buy a Nook to help out!)
http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/04/27/barnes-noble-microsoft-patented-nook-features-trivial-licensing-fees-exorbitant/ [crunchgear.com]

Re:When Is A Company.... (2)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665448)

I would, if they were sold outside the US.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665306)

But the second and third letters in the names are the same. Linux -- Windows Therefor Linux must have stolen the intellectual property of windows to get those two letters.

Re:When Is A Company.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665314)

YOU are an IDIOT. winDOWs and LinUX has NOthing to dO WITh AnYTHIng in this stoRY.

See, I can capitalize random things in a sentence too!

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665628)

So I can stop looking for the hidden message?

YOUIDIOTDOWUXNOOWITAYHIRY means nothing to me... but I am a network guy, not a coder.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

Soft Cosmic Rusk (1211950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665814)

That's because you missed a T!

Re:When Is A Company.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665316)

Probably around the same time the patent system gets fixed.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665320)

but they are using them for e-mail and contact management and calendaring and tasks - all the things that windows PDA's did.

if i remember right - MS the patents on almost all of the Office/Work/Organizer on Mobile device with sync.

It doesn't mater what OS or what language you write that in/on if you are copying someones ideas you are copying them and if they have a patent for it then you are supposed to licence it.

The legal and patent system are broken. (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665340)

You know that your legal and patent system are broken when a company is making more money from a competitor product in the making of which they had no part than from their own product. If you can't make a good product of your own, simply take some of the money your competitor makes for the profit that you're entitled to!

Re:The legal and patent system are broken. (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665436)

This is why I won't have anything to do with Mono. Or Wine, for that matter.

Re:The legal and patent system are broken. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665604)

You know that your legal and patent system are broken when a company is making more money from a competitor product in the making of which they had no part than from their own product.

Except that no one actually knows that they are making more money that way. And no, some link where a guy basically makes up figures is not an actual reliable source of information. Secondly, their mobile division is a drop in the bucket compared to the revenues from their OS, Office suite and tools divisions.

Re:The legal and patent system are broken. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665626)

150 million from HTC so far, 30 million we know of in Win 7 phone sales. Who cares if they make more from Office, they are making more from android than Win Phone 7.

They are keeping their old markets and their new innovation seems to be making protection money.

Re:The legal and patent system are broken. (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665740)

The article does base some of its figures on hearsay, but that doesn't change the fact that the legal and patent system allow such ridiculous scenario to occur and favour it, it doesn't change the fact that Microsoft are trying hard to make it happen, and it doesn't change the fact that the figures in the conclusion are not in the least surprising to anyone here, and sound so plausible that doubts are next to non-existent.

But in the end, it doesn't matter if Microsoft are making "more" from Android or not, they are profiting from someone else's work, and not only profiting, they are directly picking their money. For those who love misleading metaphors, this is closer to armed robbery than copyright infringement is to theft.

Re:The legal and patent system are broken. (3, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665706)

Isn't that the whole point of having a patent system at all? So that your competitors can't just steal your ideas and undersell you to drive you out of business?

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665358)

MS is suing the smaller fish first to set a precedent and build some kind of case for going after the big phone makers. You notice they aren't in any crushing hurry to take on the hundreds of google or Apple lawyers.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665586)

MS is suing the smaller fish first to set a precedent and build some kind of case for going after the big phone makers

There aren't many bigger fish in the corporate waters than General Dynamics. The fifth largest defense contractor in the world. Guns, tanks and submarines. The first NSA certified smartphone. The smartphone used by Obama.

Re:When Is A Company.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665666)

Samsung is the 800 lbs gorilla in the Android room. Samsung has already sold over 3 million Galaxy S IIs. If the Microsoft tax is $1 a unit Samsung already has tens of millions worth of royalty costs to fight against. That mess would be in the courts for years and the odds are good that some fraction of the patents will be found worthless, so it will never happen.

There you are; IP laws (a.k.a regulation) creating inherent bias for giant corporations that can protect themselves.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

kale77in (703316) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665688)

There must be some kind of case for legal harassment here. If a small company can point to a larger companies doing the same thing written down in the case against them, yet not being sued, then the plaintiff should be asked to show why they have not protected their shareholder's interests and IP -- their ostensible motivation -- by litigating the largest offenders first? Surely the plaintiff would be delighted to catch the biggest, richest fish with their ostensibly valid case? To my mind the only reason to act otherwise would be legal gamesmanship at the literal expense of the smaller defendants.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665716)

There's no precedent in operation here, that's not the kind of court case this is. Plus, settlements out of court hold up surprisingly poorly as precedents.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

gregrah (1605707) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665402)

I'm assuming the patents referenced are not OS-specific, so whether Android is Linux-based or Windows-based isn't going to make a bit of difference in court.

As long as the law is on their side and it is in their best interest to do so, Microsoft will continue to sue Android handset makers.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665424)

I'm not saying MS is right for pursuing revenue in this manner but you need to look at a couple of things. #1 Are the patents that other companies are cutting licensing checks for valid or is it just cheaper to pay the license fee then litigate? If the patents are valid and would most likely hold up in a court challenge why should MS be criticized for taking advantage of it? I see no other company or individual out there that wouldn't do the same thing. #2 Android is built on and for a Linux based platform but patents are more geared towards the actual functionality produced not the platform or programming language was used to implement the patented idea.

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665460)

When is a company that produces ANDROID-based phones going to stand up to MS and tell them enough is enough, ANDROID is Linux-based, and Linux is not Windows.

Has Micro$oft ever come out and EXPLAINED what their 235 patents that Linux violates were?

I'm curious if this is where the rational comes from. Not that I agree ( I don't ) but I'd love to see their explanation for this. And if they owe anyone a refund!

Re:When Is A Company.... (1)

nonicknameavailable (1495435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665464)

Motorola said no to Microsoft and got sued by Microsoft

Re:When Is A Company.... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665516)

When is a company that produces ANDROID-based phones going to stand up to MS and tell them enough is enough, ANDROID is Linux-based, and Linux is not Windows.

Sadly, if your Android based device is using stuff that is covered in patents Microsoft owns ... the platform is irrelevant.

The problem has nothing to do with Linux, and everything to do with how utterly broken software patents are. There's so many of them that a 'skilled practitioner' (ie pretty much any programmer) could develop as being a fairly logical application of other things. In many cases, it's stuff that those of us who took CS in school were actually taught in class, or is stuff that other people had developed years before.

Being Linux doesn't give you a free pass from the suck that is over-broad patents.

Re:When Is A Company.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665646)

When is a company that produces ANDROID-based phones going to stop ripping off other peoples idea?

Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la SCO? (3, Insightful)

basiles (626992) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665246)

So Microsoft is becoming even more a lawyer company, and a bit less a technical one. If this is true, I won't bet one Microsoft share's raising again.... Did they hire SCO attorneys or laywers? :-)

Re:Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la S (5, Funny)

x6060 (672364) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665308)

I hear if you say Darl McBrides name 3 times in a mirror he will appear and speak to you about his litigation techniques. A few days later you'll receive a cease and desist followed by a lawsuit about trade secrets from Microsoft.

Re:Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la S (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665342)

They've always been lawyers. Apple are marketing people. And Google are developers.

Microsoft got lucky way back when and have been ruling ever since because of the fact. The internet will be their downfall; they still don't understand it, and Apple and Google are going to take them to the cleaners. This sort of crap is all they can muster.

Re:Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la S (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665396)

Apple are marketing people./em

Apple is lawyers as much as marketing.

Re:Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la S (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665712)

Yes, but they are very nice Lawyers.

Re:Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665564)

actually, Google are advertising people.

Re:Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la S (1, Informative)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665388)

As much as the anti-MS crowd on slashdot would like this to be true, just saying this does not make it the case. Even if MS got $10 for EVERY Android device, and the 500k untils/month I found on wikipedia is close to accurate, that is 6 million units per year, or $60 million a year. And even if you say that other patent troll-esque licensing agreements multiply that by 10x again to $600 million a year

Microsoft made almost 17 billion last quarter.

Microsoft is a lot of things, but they are not SCO. They are not classic patent trolls with no product. They are basically just like Apple, IBM and Oracle and Google and every other big company. They use their patents to maintain their market share and stifle competition. Bad, but not SCO bad.

Re:Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la S (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665508)

Android is not the only ecosystem they shake down for protection money.

Re:Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665704)

Yet they are still rolling out major updates to Windows Phone 7 and Windows with Windows 8. Add on their competitive cloud offerings (including Office) and you should get the point.

I doubt you, or most others will though.

Re:Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665810)

Android is not the only ecosystem they shake down for protection money.

... which is why he said "... even if you say that other patent troll-esque licensing agreements multiply that by 10x again to $600 million a year." Your argument is already taken into account in his math.

reminds me a lot of IBM and SUN (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665734)

I was told this is a true story (though I probably remember some of it wrong) -

IBM's Nazgul came calling at SUN one day and demands licensing fee for several patents. After some internal reviews of the patents in question, SUN concluded that there are no merit to IBM's claims. IBM's Nazgul were completely unfazed; "Do you seriously believe that of the hundred thousands of patents in our portfolio, you are NOT in violation of ANY?" Needless to say, SUN ink the licensing agreement.

Considering the amount of patents M$ is sitting on, most probably paid just to avoid any expensive and prolonged litigation. Merit has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Re:Microsoft becoming a lawyer company à la S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665736)

What do you mean "becoming". They just don't feel the need to use proxies for it anymore, since the antitrust watch was lifted.

BTW: How is their behavior not racketeering?
It's *exactly* like racketeering. Including "Oh, what a nice business you have here. It would be a shame if something happened to it.", the equivalent do demolishing some piece of furniture, etc. Down to them being convicted criminals. (I'm sure everyone has seen the list of convictions Microsoft got all over the world over the decades.)

considering where Billy came from (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665764)

Considering where Billy G came from (family of lawyers,) this is a surprise?

Good, maybe they'll get rid of Windows Phone (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665260)

Only together can MS and Google overthrow Apple and rule the galaxy as father and son.

Re:Good, maybe they'll get rid of Windows Phone (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665374)

Damn, that was pretty good.

Re:Good, maybe they'll get rid of Windows Phone (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665450)

Fucking brilliant!!!

Looks like Microsoft is going under... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665272)

Isn't suing everyone the trend companies go through when they are on the decline? SCO remember them?

Re:Looks like Microsoft is going under... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665414)

SCO was suing people bigger than them. That's a recipe for hard times. If you're suing a company with deeper pockets than you then you need to actually have a real case. If you're suing smaller companies you can use a lame ass case and bluff them out because they can't afford the ante. It sucks to know your opponent has a pair of 5's but you can't match the pot.

It won't last (1)

MM-tng (585125) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665282)

You can't build from this. Just build up the dislike. New products don't stand a chance. Now give me my N9 you damn Elop. I will write a check to Microsoft myself.

Software patents are evil (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665318)

'nuff said. :(

Re:Software patents are evil (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665446)

The dickheads who voted this into legislation are evil. Sold out whores will do anything for a dollar.

My fear.... (1)

DJ Particle (1442247) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665334)

My fear is they will use the agreements as a wedge to claim ALL of Linux as infringing. Luckily I think Torvalds and Shuttleworth have the resources to fight MS.

What IP? (1)

mugurel (1424497) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665336)

So what intellectual property is this about? I couldn't find it in TFA.

Citation needed (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665370)

Microsoft likely makes more money from Android than its own Windows phone platform,

This statement just cries out for at least a small amount of supporting evidence. The article doesn't appear to make this claim - so did jbrodkin simply pull this out of his nether regions, as I suspect?

Re:Citation needed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665474)

This was something that was pointed out some time ago. Yes he probably should have added a link for reference.

http://www.asymco.com/2011/05/27/microsoft-has-received-five-times-more-income-from-android-than-from-windows-phone/

Re:Citation needed (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665502)

This was something that was pointed out some time ago. Yes he probably should have added a link for reference.

http://www.asymco.com/2011/05/27/microsoft-has-received-five-times-more-income-from-android-than-from-windows-phone/

Thank you. It's certainly not an unbelievable claim, given that Windows Phone 7 hasn't rocketed to the top of the sales charts.

Hopefully Motorola won't capitulate.

Re:Citation needed (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665524)

Which is a pretty shitty link since it's just figures that some guy basically makes up.

Re:Citation needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665494)

It is a quote from the linked article!

Microsoft reportedly receives $5 every time HTC sells an Android phone, leading some observers to conclude that Microsoft makes more money from Android than its own Windows Phone 7 platform.

Re:Citation needed (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665602)

Note that "leading some observers to conclude" is not even close to "Microsoft likely makes ...".

Using HTC Estimates and WP7 Numbers, $150M $30M (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665526)

Microsoft likely makes more money from Android than its own Windows phone platform,

This statement just cries out for at least a small amount of supporting evidence. The article doesn't appear to make this claim - so did jbrodkin simply pull this out of his nether regions, as I suspect?

It's been the subject of recent speculation [osnews.com] given the numbers that HTC pays them $5 for each phone and has sold 30 million sets totaling $150 million. And then compare to what WP7 makes MS:

Microsoft has admitted selling 2 million WP7 licenses, and assuming a price of $15 per license, that's $30 million in revenue.

Okay so that could be incorrect but we're just seeing more [slashdot.org] and more Android licenses [slashdot.org] resulting in payment to Microsoft. And I don't think WP7 is keeping up with that.

Is this conclusive? Not at all. The above numbers could be false. Is it probable? Well, that's for you to decide.

Re:Using HTC Estimates and WP7 Numbers, $150M $30M (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665654)

Free market at its finest !

Re:Citation needed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665578)

jbrodkin is the writer of the article.

Re:Citation needed (1)

TreeInMyCube (1789238) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665612)

The info is tenuous, at best. JBrodkin's piece alleges that MS gets $5 USD for each Android device sold by the licensees. He does a back-of-the-envelope calculation that LicRevenue = $5 * ProjectedAndroidUnits / Year and Phone7Revenue = SomeProfit * ProjectedWinPh7Units / Year ... and concluded that LicRevenue > Phone7Revenue. Lots of wiggle room in the sales projections per year, given the volatility month-to-month and the guessed impact of iPhone5 on future sales. Will people hold off getting a new smartphone for a month or two, if they think iPhone5 is coming? Or that iPhone5 introduction would get them a better deal on an iPhone4?

Re:Citation needed (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665664)

You didn't read the article....

Microsoft reportedly receives $5 every time HTC sells an Android phone, leading some observers to conclude that Microsoft makes more money from Android than its own Windows Phone 7 platform.

Re:Citation needed (1, Flamebait)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665672)

Also, the submitter is the article writer... dipshit.

Purchased IP? (2)

billsf (34378) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665384)

How can any company expect to profit from 'purchased patents'. I don't think it'd fly in the more civilised world. If this is the case: NO Mercy. Even if Google won with pi*10^9 dollars, what good would it really be in the end? Let the innovators and not the trolls make out technology.

BillSF

Re:Purchased IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665634)

> Let the innovators and not the trolls make out technology.

Yes, but that would be Google fucked then. They'd have a pretty good search engine and nothing else.

I'd be happy for people to tell me what I'm forgetting but the search algorithm and the business model (luring people in with 'free' services and selling them to advertisers) seems to be about it as far as Google's successful innovations are concerned.

Back to their roots (3, Insightful)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665386)

They never really were a tech company, IMO. Their innovations: EULA and software licensing. Most of their products were bought, copied stolen.

Re:Back to their roots (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665714)

Surely you jest, as they are the largest spenders of R&D in the world.

Microsoft is evil again... (1)

kallisti5 (1321143) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665406)

... well that didn't take long. Weren't they open source friendly like two months ago?

Quizz! (0)

flibuste (523578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665418)

I remember a company who was in difficulties by not being able to sell enough products. It went into litigation mode trying to sue the hell out of everyone or everything that moves, hoping to generate revenues from those patent enforcements. This company no longer exists because that mode ended up not being sustainable as a good business.
  • Q1: Name said company
  • Q2: Name a company that is adopting the same "I'm losing it" tactics

Cheaper to pay the protection money than litigate (3, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665476)

Microsoft has enough money to spend on court battles that many companies would rather pay the protection money than say "f#ck you". Sad, but that's the way it is. This is why monopolies are not such a good thing.

Re:Cheaper to pay the protection money than litiga (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665746)

It's never a good idea to pay the Danelaw...

Re:Cheaper to pay the protection money than litiga (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665806)

You don't have to be a monopoly to have enough money to have a good legal team. Your statement "This is why monopolies are not such a good thing" is false. It's unrelated.

Of course if you meant to say, this is why companies who make money are not such a good thing that would be related, but I think most people would agree that companies that make money are generally a good thing.

truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665484)

fucking cocksuckers

Hmm, not Samsung then? (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665500)

Seems strange - the revenue from the handful of WP7 Samsung phones sold will amount to a rounding error compared to that from their Android sales.

The new m$ mobile business policy: if you can't beat 'em, extort 'em.

If I worked for Microsoft (0)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665534)

I'd be pretty depressed. I mean, have they done *anything* they can be proud of in the last 20 years? XBox maybe.

Re:If I worked for Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665728)

Visual Studio (best IDE ever done), .NET just to name a few

Re:If I worked for Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665822)

Clearly you have a different definition of "proud" than the rest of us......

And that is where it ends too . (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665570)

suing htc is one thing, suing google is another thing.

Re:And that is where it ends too . (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665758)

We just need a 100% tax on LAWYERS then all the money drained into these cases will pay off the national debt... Between Apple, Gooogle, microsoft... There are $150 BILLION or so the government could use. It's not like those companies are using it in the economy...

Ideas are supposedly worth a dime a dozen (1)

Normal Dan (1053064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665580)

Looks like that's changing.

Re:Ideas are supposedly worth a dime a dozen (1)

kikito (971480) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665722)

Nothing has changed. For the average bear, ideas are still farts in the wind.

This just demonstrates that justice isn't the same for all of us. If you can afford a bunch of attorneys and a long procedure, you can buy your own rules.

We:"Put up or shut up." MS:"No. You'll see why." (5, Insightful)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665600)

Back when Microsoft started making waves about their patents, one of the things often shouted here on /. was "put up or shut up, tell us exactly which patents are being infringed." Nobody ever says what they are (though I think a FAT32 patent on legacy-formatted SD cards might have been mentioned).

What's funny is that the silence didn't mean Microsoft was doomed to lose. AFAIK all the settlements are under NDAs (is this incorrect?). That means that nobody can even prevent the threats by making sure they don't infringe.

I think licensing NDAs should be illegal. Not only do they passively encourage other acts of infringement, but they obscure the cost of patents that society is bearing. Of course, to patent trolls, these two reasons against license NDAs, are reasons for them...

BTW, I don't think making such NDAs illegal would be an infringement of anyone's privacy rights or overreaching government involvement. We're talking about patents, so the premise is that the government is already involved in the transaction, by means of threatening the use of force (courts) against one of the participants. If you want privacy, use a trade secret instead. (It's not that laissez faire is necessarily wrong, but under laissez faire you can't have patents anyway, so the very discussion starts with the idea that laissez faire is off the table.)

Patents (1)

g0es (614709) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665606)

Anyone have any links on exactly what these patents are? I find the patent system incredibly frustrating. It would be one thing if these patents weren't so vague and open to interpretation, but with the way they currently are how the hell can you even create something that doesn't infringe on someone's patent? I guess I would fee differently if I had patents to profit from.

Wasn't TomTom one of them too? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665608)

Aren't some of TomTom's newer GPS units Android powered?

Microsoft sued TomTom over patents a few years back (I don't think at the time that TomTom was using Android, specifically, but they were using Linux in their devices). TomTom ended up settling with Microsoft, so I would expect that same settlement would cover any use of Android or any other flavor of Linux.

Re:Wasn't TomTom one of them too? (1)

g0es (614709) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665696)

From what I remember Tom Tom was Linux based and Microsoft went after them because of the file system they implemented for map storage which i believe was FAT based.

Like Linus Said: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665676)

"If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux, it means I've won."

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