Android This Week: HTC/Microsoft Patent Deal; Skyfire Released; Incredible on Sale


Microsoft (s msft) dominated Android news this week, first by claiming that the OS from Google (s goog) might infringe on its technology, then by signing an agreement with HTC to provide the largest Android phone maker with “broad coverage” under its intellectual property. Apple (s aapl), of course, recently filed suit against HTC claiming infringement of 20 of its patents, so this agreement is HTC’s way of avoiding a similar situation with Microsoft. Under terms of the deal, HTC will pay Microsoft a royalty for every Android phone the OEM sells. It’s somewhat ironic — Microsoft will get paid but Google won’t see a dime.

Also this week, Skyfire released the second major version of its web browser, and the first for the Android platform. Skyfire 2.0 is aimed at bringing full Flash video support through its server-side rendering of web pages. It also includes what’s known as the SkyBar, a toolbar that aids in video playback, makes it easy to discover new web content and to share discoveries with social network friends. The browser is free and available in the Android Market.

And finally, the Droid Incredible by HTC was officially released on the Verizon network this week. Boasting a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 8 MP camera and the latest HTC Sense interface, the phone is aptly named — and may just be the best Android phone on the market. Check out my photo tour of the new device here.


Brent Hopkins

I’m confused by the HTC/Microsoft patent licence deal. Is HTC just paying MS. To go away, or will MS now be contributing to Android development on a paid basis? Or is this more about the Sense UI than about Android per se? The article text does not make this clear.

If it’s really about the Sense UI, then what we have here is more about a proprietary UI and less about Android. If I remember correctly, HTC first developed the Sense UI to overcome the limitations of a Windows Mobile-OS phone they made awhile ago. Right? In that case, Microsoft may have had a legitimate role in the development of the Sense UI and may just be demanding a fair return.
Could someone please clarify this issue?


Microsoft dominated Android news? Hardly. nobody cares and there is no good indication if the Microsoft HTC deal even means anything. The Android buzz this week was obviously the Incredible. Try to keep up.

James Kendrick

That’s your take but the fact is HTC is the largest maker of Android phones by far. They are now paying a royalty to Microsoft for every Android phone they sell. That’s big news, MS is now making money off Android.


apple should follow the same step that microsoft had taken, that is licensing their patents technology to HTC and not suing HTC for using their patented technology instead.


Apple is less interested in making money than they are ruling the computing world and eliminating all opposition. They are the biggest anti-competitive company today that has gone unnoticed on the anti-trust lawsuit front.

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