Acer and ViewSonic sign patent agreements with Microsoft for Android smartphones and tablets
Also covers Chrome hardware
The two companies join HTC, Wistron, Onkyo, Velocity Micro and General Dynamics Itronix as announced licensees of Microsoft's patents which cover the rival operating systems.
It's also thought that Samsung and LG are paying Microsoft although this hasn't been formally announced.
Microsoft is currently suing Motorola over Android patents.
Hedging its bets
Indeed, such is the volume of Android devices now being produced the per-unit cost Microsoft can extract from these deals (thought to be up to $5 in the case of HTC), it's currently generating more revenue from this than from its entire Windows Phone activities.
"We are pleased that Acer is taking advantage of our industrywide licensing program established to help companies address Android's IP issues," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft, releasing exactly the same statement with respect to ViewSonic.
"This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property."
[source: Microsoft: Acer/ViewSonic]