Google: Microsoft extorts profits, hinders innovation and is failing in smartphone market

Google issued an irate response to Microsoft’s cross-licensing agreement with Samsung, announced early Wednesday, in which Samsung will pay royalties to Microsoft for each Android smartphone sold. “This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft,” Google said in a statement to TechCrunch. “Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners.” Microsoft has similar agreements in place with ViewSonic, HTC and Acer and analysts estimate Android pulls in three to five times the revenue that Windows Phone does for Microsoft. Read on for more.

The Redmond-based company issued a public response to Google on its blog on Wednesday afternoon. “We recognize that some businesses and commentators – Google chief among them – have complained about the potential impact of patents on Android and software innovation,” Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith and deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez wrote in the post. “To them, we say this: look at today’s announcement. If industry leaders such as Samsung and HTC can enter into these agreements, doesn’t this provide a clear path forward?”

Microsoft also explained that HTC and Samsung were responsible for more than half of all Android phones sold in 2011 in the United States and Microsoft admitted that, while there will be more drama, perhaps this is “the end of the beginning” for an “industry-wide assortment” of legal issues.

[Via TechCrunch]

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