Microsoft is announcing today the biggest Android-related patent deal to date, signing a broad cross-licensing agreement with Samsung.
With the deal, Microsoft will get royalty revenue on every Android smartphone and tablet that Samsung sells. Redmond already has a deal with another major handset maker — HTC — that sells both Android and Windows Phone devices.
Maybe I’m interpreting this wrong, but I see this as a move that further solidifies Android’s presence in the mobile market. The more players are making money off it, the stronger the Android brand becomes. Whatever way you look at it, it’s another very strong play by Microsoft, which has been making some very smart decisions these past years to hedge its bets.
Overall, it’s good for Android, good for Microsoft and good for Samsung. The effect of this deal on Apple is a bit unclear, although the strengthening of a coalition of competitors is never a good thing.
I couldn’t help but chuckle at this quote from the Windows Phone president, though:
“Microsoft and Samsung see the opportunity for dramatic growth in Windows Phones and we’re investing to make that a reality,” Windows Phone unit president Andy Lees said in a statement.
It’s easy to see an opportunity for dramatic growth when you start from zero. Whether that growth will materialize is a different story.