Microsoft sues Barnes and Noble over Android
Posted Mar 23, 2011 6:57 UTC (Wed) by FlorianMueller
In reply to: Microsoft sues Barnes and Noble over Android
Parent article: Microsoft sues Barnes and Noble over Android
Now can you substantiate that [neither free nor fully open] *without* referring to a certain blog ?
Since these are complex issues, it's more efficient to link to write-ups on them than to go into every detail in a comment here. About "free", you could see Microsoft's statement on the Barnes & Noble suit, which mentioned that many others including Amazon.com and HTC already pay royalties to them and they expect everyone else to pay. Then you look at the 37 Android-related patent lawsuits taking place already (plus there will be many more, I'm sure), and many if not most or even all of those will result in royalty-bearing license deals.
It doesn't matter who previously said that Android isn't free. If it isn't, it isn't. If someone I don't agree with on something else tells me the Earth is round, the answer isn't that it's "flat". It's that he's right, it's round, and I still beg to differ on other issues.
Concerning Android's openness, just look at the Skyhook case, where Google bullied Motorola and Samsung to prevent them from using a competing geotagging solution.
So even after paying all these potential patent taxes, device manufacturers would still come out ahead. So until the dust settles and the true extent of this economic burden of software patents is known, it's no use trying to disuade manufacturers not to use android and implicitly to opt for a "safer" competitor (which is the elephant in the room in your argument).
I'm not dissuading anyone. I look at what's going on and analyze it. All it takes is a few patent holders successfully collecting $10 or $20 on each device, and the end user price of a device goes up $100 or more. If Google had a strong patent portfolio, it could solve some of this through cross-licensing, but with 500-odd patents it's not a serious player in that game.
Those are facts that I'm perfectly entitled to analyze and discuss. Just like you're entitled to a different expecation. The assumption that those 37 patent lawsuits are just all going to go away without substantial implications for the competitiveness of Android is, however, very unrealistic.
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