Feeds

Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola

The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Motorola Solutions has become the latest maker of Android and Chrome OS devices to license related patents from Microsoft, joining dozens of other companies that have entered into similar agreements with Redmond.

Note, however, that we're not talking about Motorola Mobility, the Android smartphone maker that Google bought in 2011 and recently sold off to Lenovo.

Rather, this is the other half of the old Motorola that was left after Google acquired the company's consumer device business. You can think of it as analogous to the parts of Nokia that will be left over once Microsoft completes its gobble of the Nokia Devices & Services division on April 25.

Although Motorola Solutions is no longer in the business of selling mainstream handsets through the major mobile carriers, it does still offer a variety of specialized mobile devices for enterprises, including ruggedized tablets, "mission critical" handsets for public safety agencies, vehicle-mounted and wearable computers, and interactive kiosks.

Typically, Microsoft keeps the details of its Android patent licensing agreements secret. In a blog post announcing the latest deal on Monday, it didn't disclose what sort of payments Motorola Solutions would be making, although most such deals are believed to involve royalties.

It's hard to estimate just how much Redmond earns from these deals because its new financial reporting structure lumps its patent licensing revenue in with revenue from selling licenses for software such as Windows and Office. Still, the figure is thought to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year, at least.

Microsoft recently claimed to own "approximately 200 patent families that are necessary to build an Android phone," and just about every big-name Android vendor on the market has now caved in and bought a license, including the likes of HTC, LG, Samsung, and ZTE.

One notable hold-out, however, is Motorola Mobility – the other half of Old Motorola. Google never licensed Microsoft's Android patents when it owned the smartphone group, and there's been no word so far that Lenovo plans to do so now that it's taken the reins. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.