updated 03:05 pm EDT, Wed September 28, 2011
Google says Microsoft-Samsung license bullying
Google in a statement accused Microsoft of effective bullying with its Samsung cross-licensing deal. Consistent with its message but more aggressive than usual, the Android creator likened the strategy to extortion. Because few customers were buying Windows Phones, Microsoft had decided to tax Android instead.
"This is the same tactic we've seen time and again from Microsoft," Google wrote. "Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others' achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners."
Samsung is publicly supportive of the Microsoft deal, although it's well-known that the Galaxy S II designer had little choice. Microsoft is quick to sue any company if it contests the need to pay royalties and often counts on the fight and inherent risks being too costly to challenge the validity of its claims. Barnes & Noble, which can't use Windows at all on the Nook Color because of hardware demands and price, claimed Microsoft was charging impossible rates.
Microsoft was already known to be making much more from Android licensing than its own OS.
Arguments from Google have more recently been countered by Microsoft and others of its own unfair practices. Similar to what Microsoft was accused of doing with Internet Explorer in the 1990s, Google has been accused of price dumping, or the strategy of deliberately giving away or underpricing its product to squeeze out competitors. Google gives away Android for free and makes it back on revenue sharing for search ads.
The firm may have condemned itself when it mentioned likely using Sun's Java code without a license, suggesting that it had skimped on payment in the hopes that Sun, and later Oracle, wouldn't mind given the benefits to Java as a whole.