Well, color me surprised that the tyrant known as Microsoft has taken to doing everything it can to chip away at the competition — no matter what the cost, what the stakes, or what the perception of the public at large. Here's the deal: Back in April, Microsoft struck a deal with Samsung wherein Samsung would pay the software giant an undisclosed sum for every Samsung handset sold — get this — powered by the Android OS. That's right, MS made it's usual claims that Android (along with every company on the planet — regardless of what they produce) infringed upon patents held by Microsoft. Would they disclose the said infringed patents? Of course not. After all, it's been Microsoft's modus operandi for decades to obfuscate the real truth for fear of looking like a spoiled baby taking its toys and going home.
So there the public was (the public that cared about Samsung and Android) wondering what the sum and the patents were. Well, we now know that Samsung is to pay a whopping $15.00 per Android-based handset sold. Let's do that math:
Samsung sold over 19 million Android-based handsets in the second quarter of 2011. At 15 smackers a pop, that equals $285 Million Dollars.
Really, Microsoft, really? And Samsung is willing to pony up this amount? For what? A possible patent infringement that Microsoft will not release. Could this be the same patent infringement Microsoft has claimed (for years) that Linux dips its toes into? If so, we know how that lawsuit played out.
I say that Samsung backs out of the deal, folds its arms, and dares Microsoft to take them to court. Why? Because I (and many like me) want to know what this patent infringement is and if it's worth $285 million per quarter.
May I don my conspiracy theory hat? I believe this is Microsoft coming to grips with the fact that their own take on the mobile market has failed over and over and over. They don't get mobile (just like they didn't get portable music players) and they never will get mobile. But MS isn't big enough to just pull out gracefully. Instead they want to get the cut they probably don't deserve. They refuse to take their loses like an adult...be the gracious loser and pull out of a market they don't belong in.
But then again, this is simply the way Microsoft rolls. They refuse to accept the fact that they too, like so many others, can fail. They hold on so tightly to the days when they were the only player in the market and the powers that be didn't hold them accountable for anything. They were a monopoly and everyone seemed afraid to do anything about it. But now, after how many class action lawsuits, they are held accountable for their actions...except maybe this time. Should the controlling bodies allow such behavior without full disclosure? Shouldn't Microsoft be held to the same expected transparency we demand from all other major companies (or governing bodies)?It just seems to me that Microsoft is once again playing the part of that playground bully and no one is stopping that bully from pantsing the little guy. Microsoft seems to fully understand the definition of crazy — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Only this time, it seems, they are getting different results and Samsung is paying a piper that doesn't deserve to be paid.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.