Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Oct 2010 18:02 UTC, submitted by viator
Legal If you can't compete, litigate. This train of thought has been quite prevalent among major technology companies as of late, most notably by Apple and Microsoft, who both cannot compete with Android on merit, so they have to resort to patent lawsuits and FUD. Both Asustek and Acer have revealed that Microsoft plans to impose royalty fees upon the two Taiwanese hardware makers to prevent them from shipping Android and/or Chrome OS devices.
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RE[2]: Anti-competitive?
by _Nine_ on Fri 29th Oct 2010 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Anti-competitive?"
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Microsoft isn't doing this for the money or because its products can't compete on merit. On the contrary, several Windows Phone 7 reviews indicate otherwise. Rather, this move is to "encourage" these manufacturers to sign OEM agreements for Windows Phone 7 and whatever else the company has in store for the device market. If they sign up as OEMs, Microsoft likely will "look the other way" regarding the patent issues.

Basically, Microsoft is saying that it's easier (and maybe cheaper) to just do business with Microsoft. If these companies explicitly do NOT do business with Microsoft, well, MS is going cause you some headaches since you're effectively competing with them by selling Android devices. Are the patents valid? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, the system is what it is and MS is going to use it to its advantage. It's called leverage. Conversely, the manufacturers are free to use the system as well. They can give MS the finger and let it play out in the courts.

For the people saying there "should be laws against this kind of stuff," there also should be laws against unlawfully obtaining things and then using or re-distributing them at will. Oh wait, there are such laws--patent laws. You're approaching it with a biased perspective and are automatically assuming that these patents are absurd, that Google and the OEMs aren't doing anything wrong and it's just a result of MS's inability to field a competitive product. I'm not saying that's not the case here and the system surely needs improvement, particularly around what is and isn't patented and what that means. But, if your technology should be protected and the patents used to do it are valid, then is it so wrong to actually enforce the system, regardless of the competitive landscape?

Edited 2010-10-29 16:01 UTC

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