Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Cellphones Microsoft Patents The Almighty Buck Windows

Microsoft To Charge Phone Makers a Licensing Fee 225

angry tapir writes "Microsoft may be one of the only remaining mobile operating-system providers that charges handset makers a licensing fee, but in exchange vendors get at least one important benefit: protection from intellectual property worries. 'Microsoft indemnifies its Windows Phone 7 licensees against patent infringement claims,' the company said. 'We stand behind our product, and step up to our responsibility to clear the necessary IP rights.'" In related news, Windows Phone 7 will be exclusive to AT&T at launch, and it seems Microsoft is counting on Xbox Live integration to be the "hook" that gets people interested in the new devices.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft To Charge Phone Makers a Licensing Fee

Comments Filter:
  • MOTHERFUCKER!!! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:34PM (#33761980)

    AT&T again? After my cell contract is up, I'm done with cellphones.

  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:36PM (#33762026)
    and charging a fee is grasping at a branch on the way down.
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:38PM (#33762056)

    Yep. That damn Windows desktop license fee will surely lead to Linux on the desktop right about... uh, okay, give it time.. uh, keep waiting. It'll finally be this year..... uhm.

  • by mcmonkey ( 96054 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:39PM (#33762092) Homepage

    One of the reasons why big business loves Windows and isn't that interested in Linux other than maybe Red Hat is because if things go horribly wrong, there's somebody with deep pockets to sue.

    Yes, because Microsoft came to dominate its industry by paying out on lawsuits. Those deep pockets are more likely to go for paying for lawyers to fight your lawsuit.

    As for protection from IP claims, this is the textbook definition of FUD. And it's a lie. Weren't customers of MS subject to lawsuits a few years ago based on IP in SQL Server?

  • by getNewNickName ( 980625 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:39PM (#33762100)
    How does that protect you from patent trolls who force you to stop sales of your handset until the patent dispute is resolved with MS? Never underestimate the deviousness of patent trolls to cause maximum pain and suffering for their own profit.
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:40PM (#33762118)
    In Microsoft's bank accounts we trust.... and just who is MontaVista?
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:41PM (#33762160)

    First MS hints that Linux [slashdot.org] infringes on patents. [theinquirer.net]. Then it says it loves Open Source [networkworld.com]. Now it levels a thinly veiled patent threat against open source Android. Translation: MS loves open source as long as it doesn't compete with them. All we are missing is the horse's head.

  • by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:43PM (#33762200)
    Probably 90% of corporations out there making money are using Microsoft software.
  • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:44PM (#33762210)

    Yeah, clearly no one makes any money using Microsoft software. That's why everyone ditched Microsoft and moved to Linux back in 1995, right?

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:48PM (#33762272) Journal

    This argument keeps coming up. That somehow, when you pay MS for their "software" you get Bill Gates at your beg and call, ready to deliver an emergency patch at your request.

    For normal business, this is far from the case. MS doesn't even know you exist, HP or Dell is your point of contact. You would have to buy MS software worth millions of dollars to get them to notice you and even then, support is far from snappy. With open source I have had routine contact with the lead developers over the years.

    And as for sane business men just buying off SCO and the like. Eh, no. That is exactly what did NOT happen. A hint to this might have been that SCO went bankrupt. There were a handful of payoffs and they could all be traced back to MS backing. And even that wasn't enough.

    A SANE business man knows that if you start paying of left and right you will soon be out of business.

    In fact a sane business man will look at this license and stay the FUCK away from it unless he was paying payed to get close to it. Why? Because apparantly, MS is willing to SUE people who it thinks don't pay it enough. So if next year you decide to dumb MS as your tech partner, will they then turn around and sue?

    Go ahead, come into my house. I promise you that if you come into my house, I won't kill you... why are you running away?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:52PM (#33762336)

    Maybe a few hobbling along on their anaemic server products.

    This might be the dumbest thing anyone has ever said.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:58PM (#33762442) Homepage

    No one takes their smartphone OS seriously.

    I do. I seriously would never buy a phone with a Microsoft OS on it. Because I have a great, irrational fear (based on almost 20 years of Microsoft products) of something going horribly wrong or generally not being what I'd hoped.

    For the same reason that I cringe when I see Ford commercials touting a Window experience in my car.

    They have gotten better over the years, but there are certain kinds of consumer devices I'd rather not leave to Microsoft just yet.

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:02PM (#33762518)

    And RedHat doesn't have legal representation? I'm sure if a patent troll started hammering RedHat, other people in the supply chain whose futures are tied to the OS will join the fray, such as IBM.

    Personally, I'd worry about other factors such as if the OS and platform are up to the task at hand. This generally is far more important than worrying about patent trolls as the primary reason to choose an application stack.

  • by migla ( 1099771 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:06PM (#33762606)

    So, this license fee can be seen as an insurance policy against such patent claims that could bite the handset maker for a mistake the software writers made.

    In other words: "Nice handset you got there, it would be a shame if it burnt down..."

  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:24PM (#33762920)
    which ones are making money using the microsoft mobile os? Interesting people are trying to deflect the discussion.
  • Protection (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jIyajbe ( 662197 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:25PM (#33762932)
    "Give us money, and we'll make sure you don't get sued."

    Isn't there a legal phrase for that?

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:26PM (#33762968) Homepage

    This is a signal that if WinCE 7 (or whatever) doesn't sell well, they're going to go after Android and iPhone handsets with patent claims. Switch to WinCE 7, or something bad might happen to your platform.

  • by woboyle ( 1044168 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:38PM (#33763148)
    And they could give their bottom lines a nice boost if they just stopped paying the Microsoft Tax and went with open source software. Just moving to OOo would add at least a couple hundred USD per year per workstation to the bottom line.
  • Extortion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hairy1 ( 180056 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:44PM (#33763224) Homepage

    Thats nice software you have there. It would be a pity if something were to 'appen to it.

    After examining the recent patent litigation it seems that Microsoft is the target of phone patents already, and another patent troll is not attacking Microsoft because they are owned by the co-founder of the company.Basically what they are saying is that you should use Windows ONLY because of patent protection. Innovation be damned, what matters is how many patents you and your allies have to throttle the competition. Gates was right; if software patents had been in common use when Microsoft started he wouldn't have stood a chance.

  • by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:55PM (#33763388) Homepage

    You're misplacing your anger. Microsoft's not the one that sued HTC for patent infringement over Android.

  • by BlueStraggler ( 765543 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:59PM (#33763460)

    Like Google? Amazon? Or every other successful company of the last 10-15 years?

    Or did you mean companies that *sell* Linux, which obviously you should not expect killer profits from.

  • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:08PM (#33763576) Homepage


    There has not been a single case when someone has successfully sued Microsoft for "something going wrong". I have not heard of a single case of it settling either.

    That is not the reason businesses like Microsoft. Microsoft is extremely good at catering to Joe Average Middle Manager needs. It may be a resource hog, it may be unstable, it may be utterly non-scalable, but it is what the middle management needs and wants. From there on, it does not matter what the top brass want or what the grunts want. There is no way to turn a company around to want something different from powerpoint, microsoft word and most importantly excel and project.

  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:13PM (#33763642)

    The rest of us will just keep using bash, thanks.

  • by randallman ( 605329 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:22PM (#33763714)

    In the same ways Windows generally is lame compared to Linux/Unix. No forking. Spawning processes is slow. CLI is an afterthought because the default CLI sucks and Power Shell doesn't offer much over a Perl install. Remote access is very anemic compared to SSH (no tunneling, it uses SOAP, ..) and what's the point of a remote shell if the shell sucks.

    I've learned that the ability to script anything and everything on a server and to be able to do it from anywhere should be essential for an administrator. I say should be because after you've done it for a while, the Windows way feels so, what's the word ... oh yea, anemic, yet Microsoft has serious "not invented here" syndrome and doesn't include this ability by default and the installable options don't compare to those on a base Linux/UNIX install.

    And even if you can point at Unix tools for Windows to enable awk, sed, grep or install perl and bash or ssh whatever, it's not the "Windows Way" and the way that nearly all Windows admins run Windows servers. As I'm writing this, I'm frustrated with a Windows admin because they can't write a script to watch a Tomcat log for errors and email the log entry. You know, something simple like grep ERROR logfile | mail -s "to_address".

    So yes, Windows Server is anemic.


  • by schon ( 31600 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:31PM (#33763844)

    One of the reasons why big business loves Windows and isn't that interested in Linux other than maybe Red Hat is because if things go horribly wrong, there's somebody with deep pockets to sue.

    Yup, that's why the London Stock Exchange sued MS after the entire fscking exchange went down in flames, right?

    Oh, wait - no they didn't. They licked their wounds and switched to Linux.

    Methinks your premise is flawed.

  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:01PM (#33764246)

    Automatic transmissions are inefficient and require more maintenance than standard transmissions.

    Much like graphical interfaces.

  • I find it amusing that *no-one* has cottoned onto the fact that you say "Congratulations, you've reinvented the wheel. The rest of us will just keep using bash, thanks." and *not* felt the need to point out that Bash was just such a reinvention of the wheel, it wasn't the first shell, it was an improvement on a shell that existed prior.

    I will also point out that Bash was an improvement that was necessary for the environment it was to operate it - it brought added benefits to UNIX beyond that of the shells it replaced. Powershell does precisely that for cmd.exe and Windows and you deem it necessary to demean it.

    But of course, troll away, its in your nature.

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.