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Is Android Software Microsoft’s Next Cash Cow?

Android Software Sought After By Microsoft In the hunt for the next billion-dollar business, Microsoft may have discovered one in mobile software. It costs Microsoft nothing to produce and sell, and it’s not Windows Phone. It’s Android, the wildly popular — and free — mobile-phone software made by competitor Google. In the past nine months, Microsoft has gone after a handful of companies that make Android phones and tablets. It has either sued or persuaded the companies to pay it license fees for some technologies found in certain Android features. Microsoft contends it has patents on those technologies. Four companies in the past two weeks said they will pay licensing fees to Microsoft for selling tablets and phones that run on Android. HTC, a major Taiwanese smartphone maker, entered into a licensing agreement in April to pay Microsoft a reported $5 per Android phone

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