Microsoft And Nokia's Plan To Shake Down Android Device Manufacturers

Matt Asay | ReadWrite | September 3, 2013

Microsoft shrewdly opted not to buy Nokia's mobile patents, thereby enabling another massive patent troll to prey on Android.

While much of the talk surrounding Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's mobile business surrounds the inevitability of end-to-end mobile business models, there's a vastly different lesson to take from Microsoft's acquisition. Along with Nokia's mobile business Microsoft got a 10-year license to a massive treasure trove of mobile patents.

The real money, however, isn't in Microsoft delving deeper into Android patent royalties. Rather, it's in letting Nokia do it.

The Money Is In Android

Let's do the math on Microsoft's mobile strategy going forward. Last quarter, Nokia shipped 7.1 million Windows-based smartphones, on which Microsoft made less than $10 per device. That's $71 million. Not bad, right?

Wrong. [...]