I recently discussed how Microsoft is charging Android phone manufacturers a $5-$15 fee per smartphone to license Microsoft patents. Now Oracle has its hand out and is asking for a whopping $15-$20 per Android smartphone for royalties on its patents. So far none of the major phone manufacturers have coughed up any money to Oracle, but it’s only a matter of time before the Oracle lawyers get involved, and the money starts flowing.
Wow, I nearly fell out of my chair when I read this little gem on TechCrunch:
Android chief Andy Rubin wrote in a 2005 email, “If Sun doesn’t want to work with us, we have two options: 1) Abandon our work and adopt MSFT CLR VM and C# language – or – 2) Do Java anyway and defend our decision, perhaps making enemies along the way.”
SUSE, an Attachmate Business Unit, and Xamarin, a startup co-founded by Mono legend Miguel de Icaza, are partnering to provide continued support for Mono, the open-source .NET Framework. The agreement grants Xamarin a broad, perpetual license to all intellectual property covering Mono, MonoTouch, Mono for Android, and Mono Tools for Visual Studio. Xamarin will assume support for these products and continue to develop and sell them. Existing customers can purchase upgrades. Priority support is also available for an extra fee.
Xamarin’s immediate plans for both MonoTouch and Mono for Android is to make sure that the major bugs are fixed. I just received notification today that a critical bug open in MonoTools since last October has finally been assigned to be fixed. This is excellent news for .NET developers and provides further evidence that .NET isn’t dead. Xamarin provides the best way to build fast, native .NET apps on iOS and Android.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. This seems to be Microsoft’s new mantra for mobile.
But the immediate future is not looking good for Windows Phone. The most recent data from comScore shows that Microsoft’s share of smartphone subscribers is only 6% and continues to fall. Whereas Android’s share is 38% and rising at a fast clip. Apple’s 27% share of smartphone subscribers is also growing, though at a slower rate.
The Android explosion is not all bad news for Microsoft, however. MobileCrunch reports that Microsoft is earning 5 times more revenue from its patents on components of the Android operating system than it is from Windows Phone. That’s $150 million from Android versus $30 million from Windows Phone.
Apple released its first iPhone in 2007, essentially defined the smartphone ecosystem, and jumped to an impressive early lead. But with a more open platform and cheaper hardware, Google Android has grabbed a commanding 35% share of smartphone subscribers. Apple is holding flat around 25%.
Microsoft entered the smartphone market late in 2010 with Windows Phone 7 (WP7), which was already generations behind competing platforms and lacked key features like copy/paste and multitasking. WP7 is also incompatible with previous versions of Windows Mobile, so existing users have no allegiance to the new Windows phones, and hence are just as likely to switch to iPhone or Android. As a result, Microsoft’s share of the smartphone market is only 8% and dropping.
Steve Jobs still knows what’s best for you, and it’s not porn. Which is yet another reason why programmers prefer Android.
Thanks to Android News