Preston Gralla

Microsoft ramps up its legal assault against Android

October 29, 2010 3:37 PM EDT
Microsoft is ramping up its legal battles against Android, targeting a group of Taiwanese phone and tablet makers. It's clear that the company expects to expend plenty of time and money using the courts to try and stop Android's explosive growth.

The IDG News Service cites Taiwan's Commercial Times as saying that Microsoft plans to demand royalty fees from Asustek Computer and Acer for the use of Android.

In addition, DigiTimes reports:

Microsoft plans to impose royalty fees on Taiwan-based vendors of Android handsets for using its patents in e-mail, multimedia and other functions, with Acer and Asustek Computer being targets in an actual attempt to prevent the two vendors from adopting Android and Chrome OS for their netbook and tablet PCs, according to Taiwan-based makers.
Microsoft has already sued Motorola for copyright infringement over its Android phones.

If Microsoft wants to stop Android, there's a better way to do it -- build a better mobile platform than Google's. Windows Phone 7 phones will soon be available, but given that they won't be available for all carriers at launch (they won't be on Verizon, for example), and lack some capabilities such as copy and paste, it's not likely that the phones will slow down Android.

Microsoft isn't alone in this tactic --- Apple has sued HTC for its Android phones as well.

I don't expect the legal tactics to win. The lawsuits will drag on, with eventually money possibly changing hands. But Android won't go away, lawyers or no lawyers. The best technology will eventually win --- not the best lawyers.