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Can Microsoft Hold Android Hostage Over Linux Use?

Douglas Carter

If you've been paying attention to the developments recently between HTC and Apple, you'll notice Apple has filed a lawsuit against HTC for alleged patent infringement relating to the user interface, architecture, and hardware used in Apple's iPhone.

Android Logo Linux Penguin and Apple Product

What does this have to do with Microsoft and Android? Android may be facing a similar lawsuit from Microsoft in the future. Since 2006, companies including Samsung, Amazon, and LG Electronics have made licensing deals with Microsoft for using Linux. Amazon is paying Microsoft to use Linux on its website and on the Kindle.

Android is a modified version of Linux, and since Microsoft has convinced other companies that they should have a licensing agreement in order to use Linux, it's possible that a licensing agreement (or something more severe) might be coming our way.

Now, what does that mean to an Android user? If Microsoft does pressure for some sort of compensation for the use of the Linux OS in Android phones, then consumers would likely be the ones that the licensing fees are passed on to.

Image from oxenti.com

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