Thursday, October 28, 2010

Microsoft to Charge Royalty To Handset-makers to deter them from using open-source alternative

Microsoft has plans to impose royalty fees on Android handset-makers in Taiwan for allegedly using its patents in e-mail, multimedia and other functions. The handset-makers in question are Acer and Asustek Computer, and this attempt by Microsoft can be viewed as a veiled threat to deter them from deploying Android and Chrome OS on their netbooks and tablet PCs.

While only HTC has signed for licensed use of Microsoft patents, Asustek and Acer will have to pay royalty charge. The thing to note here is that these two handset-makers ship very low volumes, which dispels the notion that Microsoft is not taking this step for revenues. If you look at the larger picture, both the above companies are international vendors of netbook PCs, thus it can be deduced that Microsoft s royalty charge is in fact to make it desirable for Acer and Asustek to use Windows Mobile for their netbooks or tablet PCs, rather than deploying Google Android or Chrome OS.

Android being an open platform, Android handset-makers are required to pay royalty of a minimum of US$10-15 for every handset in order to make licensed use of the concerned patents.