So if you’ve been reading news pretty much anywhere, you know Microsoft is licensing its Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio to HTC.  For some reason every news site I read for the majority of the day seems to think this is some attempt by Microsoft to get money.  I think this is totally off-base.  Yeah Microsoft is going to make some sweet cheddar on this deal, especially if they can pull licensing agreements across the Android board (Samsung, Motorola, etc.) but they’re the last group that really needs it.  I’m seeing Microsoft trying to swoop in and save their primary handset maker in the wake of two major lawsuits.  Here’s why…

It’s not secret that HTC makes the best handsets around (I’ll throw you a bone there Simmons,)  for all sorts of operators and operating systems, most specifically Windows Mobile.  This relationship has changed since the release of Android with some even guessing that HTC drops Microsoft competely.  However, with the impending launch of Windows Phone 7 coming Microsoft can’t exactly afford to have its flagship hardware maker’s bank account tied down in legal battles.  The not-so-obvious benefit to HTC is going to be the use of Microsoft’s legal team.  Microsoft extends IP protection to anyone that licences its Windows Mobile OS as well as any other IP.  Is Microsoft finally taking the patent battle to Cupertino?  I hope so.

Microsoft is also said to be in talks with other manufacturers like Samsung and Motorola for the same thing.  Being that other’s have concluded that this legal battle is over infringements by the Android Operating System and not the HTC hardware itself, this means when Apple has gotten through snagging the big fish (HTC for all those not paying attention,) they’ll probably be going after others.  If Microsoft can throw their legal cloak over the Android handset manufacturing clique then this could cause some serious woes for Apple’s legal aspirations.  It’s not like Microsoft isn’t experienced in this stuff. Unless Apple has some very serious and very obvious examples of direct infringement, now would be a good time to pack up, go home, and start worrying about how they’re going to sue a website that gives them their best press and reviews time and again.

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