Brian Proffitt’s latest post on Microsoft mobile
competition litigation strategy reminded me that I had meant to write something about Larry Page’s widely quoted comments when asked about Microsoft’s attack on Android during its last earning call.
Before that, let me just says that I fully expects Microsoft managed to signed up all 100% of OXM where X is a placeholder for any alphabet you can think off, but ‘E’ and ‘D’ are the two letters that most people will think of. The patent looks to me to cover everything under the sun (or mobile device domain) that the part focused on Android is probably not as significant as Microsoft is making a fanfare out. Headline figure might be, say 10 dollars, per Android phone. However, it is possible that nine dollar and 99 cents cover everything that is not the operating system, e.g. mail software, designs etc. While it is true that paying 1 cent is still paying extortion money, but frankly, there are more important thing to do than to argue over 1 cent.
What is more interesting is how Larry Page responded to the questions about Microsoft assault on Android. Everyone know it is heavily scripted and a lot of people spent a lot of time crafting the words that came out from Page’s mouth.
The comment that it is “kind of odd” that Microsoft is hassling its own customers strike me as a double-edge comment. Even if one accepts Page’s comment that Microsoft is actually “hassling” its customers, I don’t find that behaviour “kind of odd”. Everyone get cold calls, complain about not being properly license and attempts to sell more software from one’s own suppliers every day. So the “hassling” is part of the cost of doing business nor is it “kind of odd”. However, from the PR view point it plucks the heart string really well.
What is most interesting is Page commenting that he suspects “Android manufacturers are making good deals for themselves”. That could be inflammatory to Google’s customers if he got it wrong. Knowing that this sentence had been carefully researched and scripted, I am pretty sure the majority of Android manufacturers will grudgingly agree to the statement.
Steve Jobs biographer strongly suggest that Apple’s litigation against Samsung is because Jobs is really unhappy with Samsung. This strike a cord with me because it is a bit out of character for Apple to pursue Samsung so forcefully. Galaxy Tab may be great, but it is not an iPad, nowhere close. If he is right, with the sad passing of Jobs we will see that litigation front running out of steam slowly. So only time will tell whether the lawsuit is simply one man’s vendetta.
With Microsoft, I still believe that it is simply a strategy to smear Android until it can come out with a phone operating system that can compete with it. Again, only time can prove this. Obviously Microsoft thinks that it has more to gain this way overall than the normal approach. Unfortunately, it dare not grab the bull by its horn so it is trying to dance around the bull.They might think they are dancing skillfully like a Matador. I think in the long run it will prove to be like running of the bull.