Microsoft, ASUS Widen Licensing Deal for Office Preload
Microsoft (MSFT) expanded an earlier licensing deal with ASUS to span the computer maker’s Android-based smartphones and software, bringing to more than 20 the number of PC and device OEMs licensing Redmond’s patents, as the trend toward avoiding potential infringement lawsuits sweeps the IT industry.
ASUS also agreed to preload some Microsoft “productivity services” on its Android-based smartphones and tablets. And, the companies said they will share technology toward developing new products.
A Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet that Office is included in the agreement. ZDNet reported that in the last six months, some 30 OEMs have agreed to preload Microsoft software and services onto their devices.
“This agreement delivers significant value for both companies,” said Nick Psyhogeos, Microsoft Technology Licensing president.
“Beyond ensuring continued improvements to our products, it opens the door to the kind of collaboration between Microsoft and ASUS made possible only through mutual respect and alignment on intellectual property,” he said.
ASUS General Counsel Vincent Hong said the vendor sees the expanded licensing deal as a lead-in to a “broad partnership opportunities for future technologies and a strengthened relationship between our two companies as leaders of the technology industry.”
ZDNet reported it could not uncover any prior licensing agreement between Microsoft and ASUS related to Android. A Microsoft spokesperson subsequently confirmed that the earlier deal between the two never was publicly disclosed but did not involve Android technology.
Last week, after five years battling one another on multiple fronts over patents and technology innovations, Google and Microsoft said they would end hostilities by dropping some 20 lawsuits in the U.S. and Germany. The companies have locked horns over the use of various patents for mobile phones, gaming consoles, royalties and more.
And, in a gesture reflecting a new era of collaboration between former rivals, the two companies said they will work together to develop a royalty-free, video compression technology to boost download speeds and to push for a unified patent system in Europe.