What’s next for Microsoft?

Yesterday Microsoft got another major Android manufacturer to licence patents from them. This time it was LG. In the past Microsoft have approached Motorola and Barnes and Noble with a ”sign up or we’ll sue you” offer. They both responded by counter suing.

It is now said that 70% of new Android devices make Microsoft money. It makes you wonder at what point will they be making more money from Android than their own mobile OS, Windows Phone 7.

“We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Together with our 10 previous agreements with Android and Chrome OS device manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung and Acer, this agreement with LG means that more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS.”

I bet they are proud. I imagine everytime an Android advert comes on the TV they all laugh uncontrollably.

How long will these manufacturers put up with this? No wonder people like Samsung are getting involved in new operating systems like Tizen. It seems though that Microsoft are targeting the Android manufacturers who also have Windows Phone devices in their portfolio. I guess it’s a “pay us a licence fee or we stop you using Windows Phone and we’ll sue you” type of thing (don’t quote me on that).

What do Microsoft have planned for 2012? If their CES material is anything to go buy nothing massively new, Windows 8, another Nokia Windows Phone, another Windows Phone update, Xbox live for Android and iOS. Kinect for Windows and lots of hopes about high spec touchscreen PC’s.

The whole Windows 8 thing does appeal to me. The first tablet I got I thought “if Windows Phone was on a tablet it would be cool” and judging by the interface for Windows 8 it looks like that is the direction their heading in. I look forward to see how much these tablets are going to cost. Hopefully they make them competitive or it will just be an odd touch style Metro OS bundled with pc’s.

Source – Microsoft – Microsoft CES