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Amazon, Microsoft in cross-licensing deal with Kindle

updated 10:55 pm EST, Mon February 22, 2010

Microsoft deal may hint at Courier plans

Amazon and Microsoft tonight agreed to a cross-licensing deal for each other's patents. The deal gives Microsoft special access to technology behind the Kindle reader as well as Amazon's implementation of Linux on servers. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, including what technology Amazon would get, but the online retailer will pay Microsoft an unmentioned sum as part of the transaction.

Microsoft hasn't said what its plans are for the deal but acknowledged that the move would help it be "more creative and collaborative" and speed up the launch of "new and compelling products."

The agreement fuels speculation that Microsoft is intent on entering the e-reader market and comes amid continued talk of of the Courier tablet still being in development. The Windows developer has only had an incidental interest in e-books but is believed to have sparked development of the dual touchscreen, agenda-like device both to assert itself in the space and to rethink its definition of a tablet computer. Microsoft has never officially confirmed the widely leaked Courier, but the existence of the iPad may pressure Microsoft into turning the device into a real product to prevent Apple from cornering the category.

Reasons for the Linux server portion of the cross-license are less clear but could involve cloud-based services like the Kindle's Whispersync for automatic downloads and the S3 online storage service.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Tofino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    oh boy!

    this can only end in tears...

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006


    Apple's Mobile based products

    start to freak everyone's else. It's not just about "me-too-product" anymore but it's rather "before Apple cornering the market". This is like U.S.A. vs. U.S.S.R. during the space race.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



    Except instead of competing against USSR, US is competing against a backwards nation with no taste, lead by a sweaty monkey boy. =)

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    What is Amazon Getting?

    The Big Shaft from Microsoft !!! As has been the fate of anyone who ever got into bed with Microsoft (just watch what'll happen to Yahoo). I feel bad for Amazon.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    I'm puzzled...

    I continue hearing the pundits say that there is absolutely no need for tablets, absolutely no market for tablets at all and that Apple is foolish to be bringing out the iPad tablet which is bound to flop. Yet, so many other companies are getting ready for the battle of the tablets. I can hardly wait to see if there really is a tablet market ready to be tapped.

  1. ctt61

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2005


    Hate to see this happen to Amazon

    Amazon should know better than dealing with MicroShaft.
    I like Kindle, it has its niche, but this is the end of Kindle dealing with this company

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    Goodbye Kindle

    Smart move by Microsoft.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    You people are clueless

    This has no effect on the Kindle. Microsoft is licensing some technology, as is Amazon. Big deal, companies do this all the time. And usually because someone's tread on one person's patents.

    And note that Amazon is paying Microsoft for this, so apparently they are getting something bigger out of it than some Kindle patents.

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