microsoft may get into mobile by the back door.

6 May

htc’s licensing pact with microsoft over its android devices announced on wednesday seemed like a small announcement in the mobile marketplace at the time, but it could be an indication of the arrival of a colossal new force in mobile advertising. so far, all of microsoft’s attempts of breaking into the mobile industry have failed.

but the announcement that microsoft has persuaded handset manufacturer htc to pay royalties because the “google-owned android operating system infringes its patents” is a rare mobile success for microsoft. microsoft also confirmed it’s in similar negotiations with other android device manufacturers. although no companies were specifically mentioned, they would likely include samsung, sony ericsson and motorola and most likely even google itself.


what does this mean?

the reason this could prove significant for microsoft’s mobile strategy: if google is successful in making android the most commonly used os on smartphones, then microsoft could be entitled to a share of the spoils. and we all know that at least 97% of google’s revenues come from advertising.

of course, all of this hinges on whether or not google will agree that android relies heavily enough on microsoft’s patents for it to grant a cut of all its mobile revenues. google is unlikely to bow to microsoft as quickly as htc, which is already in patent disputes with apple.

the one guarantee is that google’s and microsoft’s respective legal teams are likely to be busy in the coming months. what will be interesting is to see whether or not the outcome will involve google and microsoft splitting up any future mobile ad revenues.

full article at new media age.

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