Microsoft and Google end patent dispute over Xbox and smartphones

Microsoft logo
Microsoft logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

Google and Microsoft have agreed to a settlement of sorts in a long-running patent dispute between the two tech giants. In all, the agreement will see around 20 lawsuits dropped in the U.S. and Germany. From Bloomberg:

"The companies pledged in a statement to work together in other ways related to intellectual property, including development of a royalty-free, video-compression technology to speed downloads, in an initiative that also involves Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. They will also lobby for specific rules on a unified patent system throughout Europe."

This puts to an end a patent fight that has been running since 2010, when Microsoft first accused Google's Android of using some of its patented technologies without paying royalties. Meanwhile, Motorola had been demanding royalties from Microsoft over patents used in the Xbox. This latest move seems to signal that we may be seeing a concerted effort for more cooperation, rather than litigation, between two of the world's largest tech firms.

Source: Bloomberg

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

100 Comments
  • Will we see google apps now? ;-;
  • no
  • It's possible.  Like Microsoft, google wants to be on multiple platforms.  This is why Google develops for iOS.  Google would also likely benefit from apps in the Windows 10 Desktop store as it sees millions of users adapting.  Balmer did not have a good relationship with google or Apple.  He was really stuck in his ways.  Satya is more open and people actually like the guy.  He's got this charm about him.  He is almost like an Indian Steve Jobs. 
  • So what, like hes a complete daughter-denying entitled bastard totally out of touch with reality stealing then selling shit nobody wants to idiots that think they're better than the rest of us based on their sick emotional dependance on a multi-billion corporation? Sorry, but I just can't squeeze Satya into that Jobs-shaped hole.
  • lol.  Well I just meant with the charm.  Jobs did have charm.
  • Jobs...charm...? I don't think that word means what you think it means... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Amen
  • From the sounds of it Satya and Jobs might be charming but are completely different. Jobs was a not so nice person... Satya doesnt seem like that.
  • The issue with your comment is, while yes Google wants to be on multiple platforms, it wants everyone to be on just Google platforms more. Developing their apps for iOS is a necessary evil for them since iOS has a significant marketshare worldwide, and a tremendous marketshare in the all important USA market. Windows mobile does not have this benefit, so Google is able to ignore that platform in order to convince people to switch to Android where they can make the most money off them (if they go to iOS instead, necessary evil and at least the iOS marketshare is still significant enough for Google to deliver ads to it and get some money. Google isn't going to support Windows 10 with apps because they know even a desktop app runs the risk of supporting Windows Mobile. So they will keep having people use a web browser on laptops and computers (especially Chrome if ,they can get the user to install it), and to this date the average consumer has yet to demand an app for their Google services on a desktop. As long as your average consumer is content getting their Google services from a web browser on desktop, Windows will not see any apps from Google.
  • But it doesn't matter Google sees where Microsoft is headed with windows 10.  And it is seeing the adoption rate.  It can also get its services to things like Xbox which it was never able to do before.  While mobile doesn't have a large user base here in north America it actually is pretty high in Russia, Brazil and Italy.  In Russia, Italy and Brazil windows phone surpasses ios.    
  • Hmm I posted images but they aren't showing up.  Maybe they need moderator approval.  I'll wait a bit, but it shows the market share in those countries. Ill add links.   http://i.imgur.com/iaDnbWz.jpg http://i.imgur.com/en9hSfp.jpg http://i.imgur.com/aOcXSax.jpg http://i.imgur.com/5su8jPG.jpg
  • Mr. PoorFinger, sir... Steve Jobbs was an asshole. Satya is nothing like that
  • Also Steve J. was a COPIER, but he knew how to fool people to think he was the one that actually came up wit the idea. He really watched SONY very closely and copied MANY MANY things from them, and said it was his. Now CrApple is doing the same exact thing, copying everything from everyone, and pretend, fool, mislead, lie,................it was all their idea. CrApple=COPY
  • If were that theory right then why already Google don't care about Windows phone platform and Windows 8 in their time?
  • @poopyfinger LOL Jobs hated google
  • Keep on dreaming.
  • They might once there is little to no distinction between the Xbox PC and w10 mobile, YouTube is already available on the Xbox...
  • Even in Windows 10, developers have the option not to launch a "universal" app on specific platforms. So, they could launch one for Xbox, but leave out the rest, if they wanted to.
  • They COULD but what would be the benefit? The argument as it stands is that Windows phone marketshare isn't significant enough for them to put forth the effort. When Xbox updates to win 10 and Google writes a new app for 10, it's already compatible with all the other aspects of the OS. Why NOT flip that switch on phone and desktop? I mean, you could be right that they won't, but it seems such a decision would be more out of spite than practicality. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You mean like the same spite that resulted in Microsoft being forced to dumb down their YouTube app to basically being just a web wrapper? The spite that resulted in API's for Google Voice being shut down (which were only really used by Windows Phone devs)? While I would like to see Google supporting the platform, I don't think it will happen. They also have no reason to create a new Universal app. Their Xbox app will continue to work just fine, so why should they go through the hassle? The only reason for them to rewrite the app as a Windows 10 Universal App is if they actually want it to run on other devices. And, even if they release YouTube as a Universal App, it doesn't mean they'll ever consider writing a Gmail/Inbox or Google Maps app for Windows devices. I honestly don't expect either of those to ever make it to the Windows Ecosystem (though I'd love to be wrong, because I know a few people who would switch if Google Maps, Gmail/Inbox and YouTube were available).
  • Tell those people they can use GMail in Outlook, we have many third-party YouTube apps and Bing Maps does the job
  • Unfortunately, a lot of people want the actual Google apps. They don't care if something is similar or better. No Google logo = no interest. I know it's stupid, but that's just the way some people are.
  • Google's decision, while short sighted, wasn't out of spite. They simply didn't want to support software for so small a marketshare. Don't get me wrong, here. The idea that they would leave millions of people in the lurch because they are small potatoes next to the 100s of millions Google serves elsewhere else is categorically dumb. No piece of the pie should be considered too small when your objective is to be everywhere, but objectively, if we're going by numbers alone, I understand their decision. They're going to HAVE to rewrite the app for xbox with the software update to 10 if they want to take advantage of all of the API changes in 10. When that happens, I don't see why they wouldn't just flip the switches on the other platforms.
  • Yeah was the same thing that was thinking, ie. Why will release that only on mobile can be used because in PC isn't right or isn't their action field
  • I wish but it appears that sort of cooperation is just too much for Google to bear so far.
  • Its really sad that Google is really have this "hidden" hate or giving cold shoulder to Microsoft. At the same time, we can't even totally blame them, Microsoft did push the scroogle ad that pissed off Google. Those ads are really unecessary and just hurt the relationship between two companies.
  • But that happens on united states only in Chile those ads of Cortana vs Siri wouldn't even been shown , would violated the basic ads code so wouldn't shown both running and with their original names
  • Not any time soon IMO, but this is a good first step to mending the ties between the two compaines. Granted, there is a 100% chance that we will see support if the platform gets enough adoption.
  • This is probably a result of Apple and Microsoft cooperating more recently. Every keeps speaking about getting google apps on windows phone, why not iOS apps? After all, Apple's apps store has the largest app ecosystem. If microsoft could port those over, it might end google dominance. Remember, Steve Jobs said he would put an end to Google or something like that. Just wishful thinkging, not a reality!
  • What apps has Microsoft not ported over to iOS. They have more apps on iOS than Windows Phone.
  • I think what he was saying is port the iOS store apps to Windows not the other way around. Just to add, they are doing this. It is one of the "bridges" they are building that should be released in 2016.
  • It's not up to Apple or Microsoft to port IOS apps. It's up to the developers. Microsoft will soon provide the tools they need. We'll see if they will actually do it. However, Google does make some apps that important to many people. You have Youtube, Maps, GMail,  docs, drive, and hangouts. Google is responsible for making universal apps for those services. A 
  • Docs. Yeah.
  • This doesn't mean google are going to give another company all of their shit lol
  • Given that Europe is investigating android in Europe for being anticompetitive. There is a good chance they'll be forced to make their apps for windows or face a hefty fine! Windows Phone alone is only slightly behind in market share in Europe, so google are very obviously shunning the platform. Universal google apps would certainly help adoption, something google are hoping to avoid!
  • Microsoft was fined in the EU for the same thing. Where's Office for Linux?
  • LOL.... good one. It was based for browser choices.  Now you can actually select a browser when you install Windows.  And even edge allows you to pick google as your default search.   But linux?  Seriously, it's open source and not a competing company.  You do realize that? 
  • Yeah, Linux is quite a different thing. Also many of Linux users are not-so-pro with anything proprietary or closed-sourced softwares and use anything open-source as possible. Not to mention there are few that are actually Anti-Microsoft. So making Microsoft Office for Linux is great but only with little return, especially that Office suite is very complex software especially when making it from scratch.
  • But wasn't that like two decades ago?
  • In your browser.
  • "There is a good chance they will be forced to make their apps for Windows" No there isn't. Google is in trouble for forcing Android handset makers to include certain apps on devices. This has absolutely zero to do with putting apps on competing ecosystems.
  • Much like smaller app developers I imagine Google will develop more apps for Windows 10 when there is more market share. Even a large corporation like Google doesn't have endless resources and I am sure the apps will come when they see a large enough business opportunity for it to justify the resources, maintainence and continual updates needed. I wouldnt be surprised to Google apps on Windows in the not so distant future. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Probably not any time soon; however, I myself have just contacted the European Union to lodge a complaint of anti-competiveness from Google against Windows Phone. It's time that consumers take a stand.
  • I don't like android/google. Funny thing is that if msft had as much a grip on the market as google did in the phone market, everyone would be screaming "MONOPOLY"
  • Well, I mean, there are investigations opening up against Google on claims of monopoly and Android.
  • How much has Microsoft earned this year in android patents?
  • But isn't that from manufacturers, not like it's taking revenue from google
  • I think one of the patents is the use of the microSD. That's why you are seeing more and more android handsets with no microSD slot. But I may be wrong.
  • yeah its something to do with the FAT32 file system. I think they still face another memory patent which almost all phones need for when you connect them to a windows PC.
  • ...and I believe you have explained why Google has motive to be seen as Cooperative in the settlement of this series of suits.
  • The EU courts are all but forcing Google to split up. That seems to suggest that they believe that Google has a monopoly.
  • But they did split up. The ubrella corporation is Alphabet now.
  • All of the products that are being considered for anti-trust lawsuits are still under the same corporate entity (Google) if I'm not mistaken.
  • Finally common sense has prevailed
  • @Ron_2155:
    This...
    OR Google's most secret employee Nadella is once again giving up one of Microsoft's competitive advantages without getting anything (of significance) in return!
  • How did you know?
  • @keathkeath:
    Right now I'm too lazy to look the figures up, but the judge in at least one of the lawsuits had already settled which sums of money were justified claims. The ones he acknowledged for Microsoft were leaps and bounds ahead of Google's/Motorola's.
    And to all the sheep which now scream: "Finally, Google services on Windows Phone." Dream on!
  • Well that breaks another chain of the Old Microsoft that's holding the New MIcroaoft back.
  • Great, the children may can have adult conversations now. Now let's see if Google can stand up like Microsoft and release some native apps for Windows devices!
  • Up next. Dogs and Cats, LIVING TOGETHER! :-D
  • That actually works sometimes..
    .but the cat usually ends up running things
  • Don't blame cats. After all, it's not their fault that dogs are stupid. :p
  • I'm a dog person, but this is hilarious. Dogs are stupid sometimes. 
  • Stupid in a way, dogs would rather nap than argue with a cat, they have sharper claws, Dogs know this.
  • In my expereince, cats like to nap, and dogs like to try and make them play. It... does not end well... for the dog.
  • My cat was either too stupid or too smart to do anything when I told her to sit, or go fetch.
  • Oh do you have that one confused, with cats..they train you.
  • Cats... do not take orders. At best, you can trick them with the lure of treats. But eventually they will discover where you hide the treats, rip open the bag, and devour them all in your sleep. And this is why I keep the catnip in a sealed container. Fool me once cats...
  • You've met my cat? He picked up on the "let's eat" command very quickly. And yes, sealed containers are a must.
  • Mine don't do "lets eat", they do "oh, you're in the kitchen, that must mean it's time for chilled treats!" We keep the treats in the fridge because it's the one place they haven't managed to get into.... yet. But, if you open the fridge and don't grab the treats, they'll dash in and grab them for you, lol.
  • Followed by - The proverbial Hell froze over.
  • Uhm. Catdog!
  • mass hysteria! -Bill Murray (Ghostbusters)
  • I still would like to know how when both Google and Microsoft get hammered how Apple can say no other browsers, besides ones based on Safari, can be on iOS. I haven't seen a single suit brought against that and Apple's easily dwarfs Google or Microsoft in profits.
  • That has nothing to do with patent disputes...
  • I know. I drifted a little off course but this article was making me wonder how Apple gets away with it.
  • Profit is irrelevant to that regard, it's about marketshare.
  • Any word about a official YouTube app now?
  • Assuming it would be like the one on Android, why bother? It's horrible
  • No it's not, it's better than any 3rd party app on Windows Phone.
  • No, it's not.
  • If there will be,I won't use it because it will show ads, and I won't support an evil company by seeing those ads
  • Microsoft was probably winning this fight if not I don't see Google actually settling things down until Microsoft had life left.
  • We seem to be entering into a cold war with Apple + Microsoft vs Google
  • true lol
  • Sue the Goog.
  • Wouldn't it be amazing if MS announced a YouTube app or other Google apps on October 6th. Fingers crossed.
  • Eh, I wouldnt use a native YouTube app. TubeCast and HyperTube are pretty great at it already. I wouldnt mind seeing other apps though like a Google Music, Drive, Docs, etc. But the ads that play in the official youtube apps are aweful. They are always way louder than the content I am watching and blast my ears when I have headphones in.
  • I'm actually thinking about Microsoft should promote those apps to be a YouTube for Windows, even though they're not official but silently included them with their apps showing playing YouTube videos may at least give consumers a hint that Windows Phone/Mobile have YouTube in some way. Though I don't even think they gonna do this, it could cause legal issues sinces these 3rd-party YouTube apps bypass advertisment which may violates YouTube terms.
  • I know this is a probably a pipe dream, but it would be cool if this was a sign that Google wants to be a part of Windows 10. Think about it: Google's new flagship Surface wannabe tablet doesn't run ChromeOS, rather Android, because they know that ChromeOS isn't robust enough to run on it's flagship hardware. Windows 10 already has a bigger marketshare than OS X and that will keep growing.  Get Google Apps on Windows 10, and then anybody living in both Google and/or Microsoft ecosystems will buy PCs. ChromeOS has it's place I guess, but making Windows 10 the premium platform for the Google ecosystem would be the easiest and most effective way for Google to increase their desktop marketshare.
  • @Nick_Derrico:
    Since ChromeBrowser has extensions that turn him into ChromeOS running on top of Windows, Google is part of Windows already. But a part that eclipses the rest completely!
  • Google's new tablet runs Android because it's a tablet, they're not going to put Chrome OS on a device like that. A tablet needs an awesome app store with games and social media apps, not having Google Play on it would be stupid.
  • Might be a good thing to call a truce. But watch 'em Microsoft. Remember how they were going to FIX the Youtube app in Windows Phone? Then broke it indefinitely.
  • I would rather have an universal facebook app containing all the facebook features, a BSPlayer app, an uTorrent app, good support for the MS apps and new features for W10M announced next week
  • "Lobby throughout Europe"?! Why's that? In what way?
  • To late..after 5 years of waiting i switch to Android.. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • People need to realize that "google is too big to de