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Google's Android Patent Outrage

I'm no math whiz, so I can't for the life of me calculate the percentage increase when an operating system goes from free to about $15. That's what may happen to Android if Apple, Microsoft and Oracle have their way.

This trio mutually own patents that could be used to boost the cost of using Android -- possibly causing Google's mobile device manufacturing partners to pay up! Defending against this may be the real reason Google scarfed up cash to buy more than 1,000 IBM patents. One report claims that Microsoft is demanding $15 in royalties for every Samsung mobile device sold that runs Google's Android OS.

Google is now shouting to the heavens about this injustice. It tried to buy Novell's patents for legal defense purposes but was shut out by a bidding coalition that included Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and EMC. In a war of words, Microsoft now claims Google was asked to be part of this bidding coalition. Google countered that the offer was a trick

While patent fights are bad for commercial products, they are murder on free tools.

Are Android devices worth an extra $15, paid to Microsoft and others, or does it chafe you to give these companies money for nothing? You tell me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/05/2011 at 1:18 PM


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