One might think that Android is completely free and there are no fees to pay Google. Turns out, there are fees being paid by HTC, one of the largest phone manufacturers today. Even more shocking, it’s not Google that’s on the receiving end of the money, it’s Microsoft.
Microsoft claims that Google’s Android OS uses its patent technology in areas of the user interface right to the core operating system itself. Microsoft and HTC have signed a deal that permits HTC to use these technologies on their phones. Microsoft is said to be in talks with some other phone manufacturers as well. Pretty much every Android phone including Google’s own Nexus One, which is manufactured by HTC fall under this deal. Microsoft has always claimed that Linux, the open source operating system infringes on their patents and has had deals with companies using the OS. Android is a distant relative of the same Linux operating system. The latest deal with HTC is the first one to do with the Android operating system.