Microsoft announced yet another Android hardware vendor as a licensee.
Compal is the ninth company to sign a license agreement with Microsoft and is especially significant, as Microsoft now says that it has 55 percent of Android market share under license agreements (53 percent in the U.S.). General counsel Brad Smith noted in a blog post that Microsoft has entered in 1133 license agreements over the past decade, while it spent about $4.5 billion in licensing fees that were paid to other companies.
Of course, Smith did not miss an opportunity to swipe Google: "For those who continue to protest that the smartphone patent thicket is too difficult to navigate, it's past time to wake up."
He also indicated that license agreements appear to be taking care of the litigation landscape that has turned the mobile phone market into a mess: "While lawsuits may dominate many of the headlines, these are being overtaken by the number of license agreements being signed. At this point, the fast pace of licensing is reshaping the legal landscape for smartphone patents."