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View Full Version : Microsoft Settles, $300 Mil TO Barnes & Noble? Locked Windows-only Nooks in future?



SemiExpert
April 30th, 2012, 03:58 PM
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2012/Apr12/04-30CorpNews.aspx So, Microsoft sued Barnes and Noble for infringement of Windows patents, and settles by paying Barnes and Noble. Bizarre. This really looks like an attempt by Microsoft to compete with Amazon and Google. So far, the only announcement is a Windows 8 app, but it's pretty clear that Microsoft is getting serious about ARM, that Windows ARM devices will have locked boot-loaders that will permanently lock out all other operating systems - hence the near certainty of locked, Windows-only Nooks in future. Windows RT will probably make more commercial sense on entry level e-readers and the lowest end the smartphone market, much in the same way that Windows Phone 7 seems to be limited to very low-end single core phones.

thatguruguy
April 30th, 2012, 04:29 PM
I'm not sure that I'm following your logic, nor can I tell what point you're making.

It's not news that Microsoft is trying to work their way on to tablets. That's part of what Windows 8 is all about.

There's nothing to indicate that the Nook will be Windows-only. In fact, it is nearly impossible to derive that opinion from what has happened.

neu5eeCh
April 30th, 2012, 05:01 PM
Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have settled their patent litigation, and moving forward, Barnes & Noble and Newco will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for its NOOK eReader and Tablet products. Ok... so... wait... Are there any lawyers here who can explain what just happened? Did B&N capitulate? Did MS? Did they agree to disagree? Did they disagree to agree? What is a royalty-bearing license? What just happened?


Edit: Just found this (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-and-barnes-noble-settle-patent-dispute-create-new-subsidiary/12575):



Does B&N still have to pay Microsoft royalties on every Nook sold as part of the settlement? (Update: The answer to that one is yes, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.)

So it looks like MS won this fight and, not only that, bullied its way into a business arrangement with B&N? Interesting.

SemiExpert
April 30th, 2012, 05:24 PM
Edit: Just found this (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-and-barnes-noble-settle-patent-dispute-create-new-subsidiary/12575):



So it looks like MS won this fight and, not only that, bullied its way into a business arrangement with B&N? Interesting.

From your link:
3. Microsoft execs have been playing up in recent public appearances the pending availability of some kind of a dedicated Metro-based e-reader. This has seemed odd to a number of us Microsoft watchers, given the official Microsoft stance that Windows 8 tablets running a Kindle and/or Nook application would be just as good an e-reader as a dedicated device. Now, given today’s NewCo announcement, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Windows 8-based Nook reader.
So it looks as if there's a real possibility that the Nook will go Windows-based, and with Window 8/RT, that means a permanently locked Windows-only device.

vasa1
April 30th, 2012, 05:24 PM
...
So it looks like MS won this fight and, not only that, bullied its way into a business arrangement with B&N? Interesting.
Pity! Now we may never know about those unmentionable patents :(

neu5eeCh
April 30th, 2012, 05:44 PM
Pity! Now we may never know about those unmentionable patents :(

I don't get Google. Why aren't they going after Microsoft?

Android is going to start losing market share as it fiddles away. It's not much now, but Microsoft's pockets are deep and apparently Google doesn't seem to give a rat's behind. What's to lose? If I were any other company, I would cut a deal with MS at this point, like B&N, & install Windows. Why risk a lawsuit on Google's behalf? If I were a shareholder in Google, I'd be getting a little fidgety. I wouldn't sell, but I might be wondering, just a little, about Google's future.

SemiExpert
April 30th, 2012, 06:14 PM
I don't get Google. Why aren't they going after Microsoft?

Android is going to start losing market share as it fiddles away. It's not much now, but Microsoft's pockets are deep and apparently Google doesn't seem to give a rat's behind. What's to lose? If I were any other company, I would cut a deal with MS at this point, like B&N, & install Windows. Why risk a lawsuit on Google's behalf? If I were a shareholder in Google, I'd be getting a little fidgety. I wouldn't sell, but I might be wondering, just a little, about Google's future.

Due to fragmentation and the variable quality of handsets and tablets, Android should lose marketshare. Apple sets the gold standard for quality ARM powered hardware - and there's no fragmentation when it comes to iOS. Microsoft's lawsuits against Android device manufactuers haven't lead to increased Windows marketshare, either. Windows Phone 7 is still a tremendous market failure and unpopularity of the Metro interface and developer indifference and hostility might undermine Windows 8/RT as well. With the Google purchase of Motorolla Mobility, there will eventually be a legal showdown with Microsoft.

neu5eeCh
April 30th, 2012, 06:30 PM
With the Google purchase of Motorolla Mobility, there will eventually be a legal showdown with Microsoft.

If I were Google, I would be looking for any excuse whatsoever to sue users of windows products for undisclosed patent violations. Then I would demand a patent fee or royalty for every Windows OS installed. I would absolutely insist on a non-disclosure agreement. Let Balmer stew in his own juices. :popcorn:

vasa1
April 30th, 2012, 06:33 PM
I don't get Google. Why aren't they going after Microsoft?
...
Agreed. I too feel that Google is not doing enough to stand by its various "partners".

Copper Bezel
April 30th, 2012, 08:41 PM
If Google starts using its patent cache non-defensively, it'll be the end of what little free software street cred it has. Their brand is based on seeming open and non-evil. They're on the "compete in the market, not the courtroom" side of the patent debate, and crossing over means they can't claim ideological superiority, which frankly is a big part of their marketing.

Google can't afford that. (It is admittedly counterintuitve to claim that there is something Google can't afford.) Yes, their partners are losing a few bucks per phone to MS and a couple of device markets in Europe already to pay for it. That's Google's loss, too, because partners know that coming in. It's worth what they're paying for it.

neu5eeCh
May 1st, 2012, 12:18 AM
If Google starts using its patent cache non-defensively, it'll be the end of what little free software street cred it has. Their brand is based on seeming open and non-evil. They're on the "compete in the market, not the courtroom" side of the patent debate, and crossing over means they can't claim ideological superiority, which frankly is a big part of their marketing.

Google can't afford that. (It is admittedly counterintuitve to claim that there is something Google can't afford.) Yes, their partners are losing a few bucks per phone to MS and a couple of device markets in Europe already to pay for it. That's Google's loss, too, because partners know that coming in. It's worth what they're paying for it.

Seems like your conflating two of my comments? Your point about aggressive patent litigation is interesting. I wonder if it's true? Who knows if Google is thinking like that. As to defensive patent litigation, I don't see how Google's seeming indifference is doing them or anyone else (let alone free software) any favors. It's extremely premature to write off MS. That's what Netscape did.

RJARRRPCGP
May 6th, 2012, 11:22 PM
Seems like your conflating two of my comments? Your point about aggressive patent litigation is interesting. I wonder if it's true? Who knows if Google is thinking like that. As to defensive patent litigation, I don't see how Google's seeming indifference is doing them or anyone else (let alone free software) any favors. It's extremely premature to write off MS. That's what Netscape did.

And I almost forgot about Netscape seeming to be buggy with Netscape 4.7x! (Seemed to hang a lot!)
Internet Explorer 5 pwned it on one of the Crotched Mountain school PCs!

jwbrase
May 7th, 2012, 05:03 AM
If Google starts using its patent cache non-defensively, it'll be the end of what little free software street cred it has.

Agreed. They *should* though, be suing Microsoft for anticompetitive behavior, though.

The problem with that, of course, is that, in the market in question, Google's product is (at the moment) much more successful, so such a suit would look kind of silly. But Microsoft is big in other markets and trying to toe its way into (or failing that, at least profit from) the mobile market by using the resources that those markets give it to harass its competitors in the mobile market, and even if it *weren't* big in other markets, you don't need to be big to be anti-competitive, or anti-competitive to be big (though successful anti-competitive behavior tends to make a company big).