Today Dell and Microsoft announced that they have signed an agreement relating to intellectual property, which will see the two companies “license each company’s applicable” patents regarding Android and Chrome OS devices, as well as Xbox consoles.
So Dell will pay Microsoft dollars when it ships devices running Google’s operating systems. The companies mention Xbox consoles because Dell, it turns out, has some IP with surface area to the device. Dell likely got a discount on its royalty payments as a result.
The Android and Chrome OS portion of the agreement are not surprising, other than that they indicate that Microsoft can turn the largest of OEMs into its paying customers, and that it undercuts Google’s mobile platform hegemony and attempt to break into the traditional PC market. How so? Increasing the unit cost of using Android and Chrome OS adds a nip of cost to each unit, making them less profitable for their manufacturer, or more expensive to the consumer. Neither is much of a good option.
And Microsoft directly cashes further into Google’s success, which is one of the more ironical pieces of the technology world at the moment.