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Acer, maker of the popular Iconia Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet has become the latest device maker to cave in to Microsoft's licensing demands.  (Source: Amazon.com)
Acer, Viewsonic agree to pay Microsoft's toll

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has already inked lucrative licensing details with General Dynamics Corp. (GD) (owners of Itronix, a maker of rugged tablets) [source]; Velocity Micro, Inc. [source]; Onkyo Corp. [source] (JSD:6628); and HTC Corp. (SEO:066570) [source].  It's pressuring Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO:005930) into a similar licensing deal.  Reportedly it wants up to $15 per device sold.  

So what do all these companies have in common?  They all use Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system and all are afraid that Microsoft may make good on its threat to sue them if they don't pay licensing fees.

Now Taiwan's Acer Inc. (
TPE:2353) has agreed [press release] to a similar licensing arrangement, though it declined to disclose how much it had agreed to pay per device.  Acer makes the popular Android 3.x "Honeycomb" Iconia tablet.

Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft comments, "We are pleased that Acer is taking advantage of our industry wide licensing program established to help companies address Android's IP issues. This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property."

Of course of amiable phrasing "Help... address Android's IP issues" translates roughly to "forced to pay under threat of lawsuit".

Google does offer Android to device makers for free, so licensing isn't game over to Android manufacturers unlike Apple, Inc.'s (
AAPL) lawsuit campaign [1][2][3][4][5][6], which simply looks to ban Android devices from the market.  However, it does shift the balance of power slightly in the favor of Microsoft, who is trying to push its own Windows Phone 7 smartphone operating system on the masses, by making it less profitable to make Android devices.

Many more manufacturers will like opt the route of Acer and HTC -- simply paying Microsoft's demanded toll.



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It's a rape...
By greylica on 9/8/2011 2:24:46 PM , Rating: -1
It's simply a rape, now our devices are $15 more expensive, and who knows what kind of things they will demand, they never show clearly what those patents are...
Do you remember the rats in an older video ? ( Microsoft and Sun ? ):

''The consumer is in charge...''

The open source community has to stop this, simply asking for Google to get the Damm thing out of service with a better alternative, GNUed, of course. If it's Microsoft software, drop it !
Another friend of mine say here in Brazil that Microsoft is desperate to stop the gap, Tablets and Cell Phones are being ''quasi'' ruled by Open Source, now it's 50/50, but it's shifting to more Open Source than Closed Source. And if this kind of behavior grow to desktops, (acceptance of Opensource= better than Closed source + chains ), then... ''Adios muchachos...''




RE: It's a rape...
By cjohnson2136 on 9/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: It's a rape...
By greylica on 9/8/2011 2:56:38 PM , Rating: 2
Every Patent troll is part of the problem... U$ 15 here, U$ 10 there, U$ 8 elsewhere...


RE: It's a rape...
By cjohnson2136 on 9/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: It's a rape...
By Flunk on 9/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: It's a rape...
By greylica on 9/8/2011 3:33:02 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, you're right, I exageratte in the words, but again, we have to face a big problem that our devices in fact aren't ''ours'' as are the vendors saying. No one sues you for modifying your car to better suit your own purposes. Course, some modifications won't let you drive in a road where you can put others at risk, but if you have a road to test your mods, why not ?
I called a rape because they are searching for money in a manner that they didn't leave another choice for the consumers. For example, if they show what those patents are, the open source community could make a workaround in order to not use the codes the way they patented, preserving the functional part. But manufacturers are on their knees and we know that's because those patent trolls will use other device or any other thing to make pressure in order for them to assign an agreement.
And the consumer ?
And the consumer ?
No choice for the consumer, those patents are obscure,
then yes, sorry, it's a rape, where is the choice for the consumer ?


RE: It's a rape...
By cjohnson2136 on 9/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: It's a rape...
By SilthDraeth on 9/8/2011 6:17:59 PM , Rating: 1
I get it. You were raped before in your life. I am sorry.

I have never been hit by a truck, and I know some people have, and yet, when my body hurts all over and I saw I feel like I was hit by a truck, I don't expect the people who got hit by a truck to get all pissed off and tell me that I am using the analogy wrong.

So using the word "rape" in the context that the OP did, has nothing to do with actual victims of rape. It will never attempt to lessen what they went through, nor is it even meant to.

You and people like you that get sooo offended by it's use in common vernacular need to lighten up a little.


RE: It's a rape...
By NellyFromMA on 9/8/2011 3:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
Don't offend anyone! Be afraid of invoking fear!


RE: It's a rape...
By Flunk on 9/8/2011 3:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
As long as Google refuses to release the updated Android source you can't argue the open source argument. Right now Google is the biggest open source license violator in the world.


RE: It's a rape...
By sprockkets on 9/9/2011 1:18:14 AM , Rating: 2
They haven't violated anything. Android is Apache which means they can close the source at any time, and all the linux kernels uses are posted on their server.


RE: It's a rape...
By kleinma on 9/8/2011 3:14:34 PM , Rating: 3
First of all, any android device that comes directly from one of these hardware makers is really anything BUT open.

Sure the android concept is an open one, but android was listed as the least open, open source operating system. Even beyond that are restrictions from the hardware makers and in the case of phones and some tablets the carriers the devices run on. Its not "open" so stop living in that fantasy land.

Secondly, MS owns the patents on many of the used technologies and uses them in their own products. They aren't patent trolls who collect and sit on patents waiting for someone to use them, they also use them in their own offerings, and to just let competition use the same IP without any compensation is silly. Do you work for a living? If so, why not just give away your paycheck every week? Oh you need the money to survive? So do businesses....


RE: It's a rape...
By nafhan on 9/8/2011 3:20:35 PM , Rating: 3
Coercion bordering on extortion, sure... Calling it rape makes it sound like you've got a strange infatuation with OSS.

Also, there's no MS code involved. It's simply MS alleging that Android software (developed by Google, etc.) violates MS's very obvious and generic patents. In other words, the code's not the problem, it's what the code does. The real problem is the screwy patent system that allows this kind of thing to go on. The issue of open vs. closed source isn't an essential part of the problem or solution here.


RE: It's a rape...
By RealTheXev on 9/8/2011 4:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft must have some leverage if the manufactures are simply ponying up the cash without a legal battle. We can only assume that Microsoft must have some REAL solid ground to stand on, even if we can't see that ground. :/


RE: It's a rape...
By nafhan on 9/9/2011 10:23:26 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure the "ground they're standing on" is as solid as what Apple has - from a legal perspective at least.


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