After Samsung, HTC, Quanta and many other helpless Android device manufacturers, Microsoft has managed to sign a patent licensing agreement with yet another Android ODM (original design manufacturer) which manufacturers Android smartphones and tablets for third parties.
It announced its tenth licensing agreement with Compal Electronics, one of the largest Android device manufacturers with revenues of over $28 billion in the last year.
With this deal, Microsoft is now getting a cut from Android device sales from almost all major Android smartphone and tablet manufacturers except Motorola, against which it filed a lawsuit.
In terms of market share, Microsoft has licensing deals with smartphone manufacturers, accounting for almost 53% of all Android smartphones in the U.S. Thanks to its licensing deals with Quanta, Wistron and now Compal, it also makes money off 55% of the Android ODM market by sales.
Microsoft has perhaps been the greatest beneficiary of Android. It stands to make billions of dollars from patent licensing deals from Android device manufacturers in the coming year, while Google seems unable to defend them, despite buying Motorola and its huge patent stash for $12.5 billion earlier this year.
I hate to repeat myself, but Android is indeed becoming Microsoft’s latest cash cow. And Microsoft is milking the hell out of it.