Can Microsoft Hold Android Hostage Over Linux Use?

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Mar 15, 2010 12:41:27 PM via Website

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.

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.


Sources:
Samsung, LG, androidguys.com, Amazon

Jun 9, 2010 5:08:14 PM via Website

What? What does Microsoft have to do with Linux? Nothing! Microsoft did not develop Linux nor has Microsoft much to do with Linux. I highly doubt that such contracts as you named them even exist and i would love to see the source from which you have got this info

Feb 25, 2011 11:31:33 AM via App

bloody idiots. microsoft are runnning scared. ms have sod all to with linux. me thinks the eu fair trade commision might sue ms again over this what would amount to obtaining money by deception. gpl ms look into it you mugs.

Feb 28, 2011 5:15:04 AM via Website

Here's an interesting interview with Linux Torvalds, the creator of Linux: http://www.informationweek.com/news/global-cio/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=199600443

He brings up some valid points about this whole debacle. As far as Android goes, it's based on a modified Kernel, so it might not even be at all infringing on anything. I understand that companies would rather protect themselves and pay small royalties over time than pay a large chunk at one time, but HTC and most of the big Android guys are in the Open Handset Alliance and combined have enough money to throw at competent lawyers to nip this in the bud.