Microsoft dominated Android news this week, first by claiming that the OS from Google 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, 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.