Microsoft recently signed a licensing agreement with Taiwan-based Qisda, which manufactures Android and Chrome OS devices. The deal will provide the Windows maker with the rights to Qisda and BenQ Android-based products, including smartphones and tablets.
Microsoft expands Android patent portfolio
Although the complete financial details of the agreement have not been made public yet, according to the basic outline of the deal, Microsoft will be getting royalties from Qisda, which is an original device manufacturer and delivers hardware and software for a variety of purposes.
Regarding the deal, Nick Psychogeos, vice president and executive director of Microsoft Technology Licensing claimed that the latest agreement will provide the Taiwanese company with increased patent protection for its future devices. Nick also noted that Microsoft has now entered into patent agreements with all the major Taiwanese original device manufacturers (ODM).
Qisda’s president commented that the deal will present the company with additional freedom to innovate and come up with outstanding products.
Of note, Microsoft’s patent portfolio has been one of its major sources of income. Since its IP licensing program launched in December 2003, the company has reportedly signed more than 1,100 licensing agreements with various ODMs and Original Electronic Manufacturers. Some of the ODMs that have entered into the licensing deals with Microsoft are Hon Hai, Pegatron, Quanta Computer, and OEMs include LG Electronics, Samsung, ZTE and HTC.
Important revenue source
However, the Windows maker has been struggling with poor sales of its phones and personal computers. Although Windows phones have been praised by many for its smart and well-created operating system, it has failed to acquire a considerable share in the mobile market. Nevertheless, the company has been making money from its patent portfolio by collecting licensing fees from the manufacture of other operating systems such as Android and Linux.
By adding Qisda, Microsoft has added another firm to monetize on the sales of Android phones and tablets. CEO Satya Nadella claimed that this is a huge deal for Microsoft as it promises another revenue opportunity when Windows’ use is declining. That said, the company also has high hopes for the upcoming Windows 10 phone, which is due to be released before the end of the year.