Microsoft signs Android, Chrome OS patent deal with Foxconn

By on April 17, 2013, 9:30 AM

Hon Hai Precision Industry, commonly known as Foxconn, has joined a list of manufacturers to reach a licensing agreement with Microsoft over patents associated with Android and Chrome OS. Fine details about the arrangement are being kept under wraps for the sake of confidentiality, but it's said to be Microsoft's biggest score to date, which is noteworthy as the company touts 1,100 other licensing agreements.

The Taiwanese outfit makes some 40% of the world's consumer electronics and it seems relatively safe to assume that a large and rising percentage of those devices are running a Google-made operating system, particularly among smartphones and tablets. In other words, Microsoft should have no problem collecting a fair sum of cash off Google-powered hardware that passes through Foxconn's facilities.

With the world's leading gadget maker on its licensing roster, Microsoft now has pacts with about half of the global contract firms who produce Android devices, including Pegatron and Quanta. Interestingly, it has been noted that the new deal could complicate things a little between Foxconn and device designers as Microsoft's fee doesn't have to be paid by both parties, leaving them to decide who's footing the bill.

Although the software giant has managed to cut deals with a large portion of the planet's electronics makers as well as major device brands including Samsung, LG, HTC and Acer, one name is notably absent from the list: Motorola Mobility. The Google subsidiary hasn't caved to Microsoft's demands and the pair have been locked in dispute for a couple of years with court cases ongoing in the US and Germany.

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