Microsoft and Dell have penned a patent licensing agreement regarding devices running Android and Chrome OS.
According to Microsoft, Dell agreed to pay royalties to Microsoft for sales of devices that run either Google's mobile Android operating system or Chrome OS.
Microsoft is going head-to-head with Google to make sure that Android hardware makers -- which build Android smartphones that Microsoft believes may infringe its patents -- pay Microsoft a license fee. These patents then protect the hardware makers from litigation related to both operating systems. In the meantime, Microsoft wins because it can pocket some extra cash.
Dell isn't the only hardware manufacturer paying Microsoft for Android or Chrome OS royalties. Most of the larger handset makers, such as Samsung, LG and HTC, have already agreed to pay Microsoft royalties.
In addition to Android and Chrome OS, Microsoft said it will share some of its intellectual property related to the Xbox gaming system as well.
“Our agreement with Dell shows what can be accomplished when companies share intellectual property,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “We have been partnering with technology manufacturers and vendors for many years to craft licensing deals, instead of litigation strategies.”
In 2012, Microsoft said 70 percent of Android phones sold in the U.S. were covered by one of its licensing agreements.