Feeds

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

The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.