back to article Microsoft sells 1,500 patents to Chinese mega-phone biz Xiaomi

Xiaomi has agreed to buy 1,500 patents from Microsoft in a move that has been framed as an "expansion of their global partnership". Under the deal, Xiaomi will ship Microsoft Office and Skype on its Android smartphones and tablets. Yes, you read that right. The terms of the deal remain undisclosed and it is unclear to what …

  1. cookieMonster

    Another way to look at it

    "Partnerships with companies such as Xiaomi/Microsoft are central to the Chinese Government's strategy to work with industry leaders around the world to meet the needs of total information disclosure on all its citizens"

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Xiaomi is one of the fastest-growing smartphone manufacturers in the world

    Not any more it isn't. Maybe the deal will help it expand outside of China.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Xiaomi is one of the fastest-growing smartphone manufacturers in the world

      Given Microsoft's history with their phone partners (see Nokia, and that partner for Windows Mobile in the early 2000s beginning with 'S' I can't remember) I think it is more likely that this deal will cause Xiaomi to continue to decline, and falter in their expansion attempts thanks to Microsoft's interference.

  3. Mage Silver badge

    agreed to buy 1,500 patents

    Actually buy?

    Or pay a licence to use the IP?

    HUGE difference.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: agreed to buy 1,500 patents

      Buy, apparently:

      “Microsoft has sold Xiaomi nearly 1,500 high quality patents that read on a variety of technologies including wireless communications, video, cloud and multimedia,” a Xiaomi spokesperson clarified to TechCrunch, adding that Xiaomi has “been applying for, acquiring and licensing patents” in recent years.

      - http://techcrunch.com/2016/05/31/xiaomi-inks-microsoft-patent-deal-and-agrees-to-pre-install-office-apps-on-its-phones/

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: agreed to buy 1,500 patents

        So that's bizarre. Even when Nokia got out of phones they only licensed IP to Microsoft. They didn't sell a single patent.

        Exactly why would ANY tech company actually sell off IP unless they were in a Kodak or Polariod Ch11 or otherwise seriously strapped for cash? MS are not short of money.

        Surely MS would ONLY sell IP that it determines is non-Core and will never be needed to defend its own product.

        Makes no sense!

        1. Planty Bronze badge
          Stop

          Re: agreed to buy 1,500 patents

          There is no more room for nails in windows phone coffin....

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: agreed to buy 1,500 patents

          Surely MS would ONLY sell IP that it determines is non-Core and will never be needed to defend its own product.

          "Makes no sense!

          Unless MS is so pissed off at their monumental failure to make any headway in the mobile phone market that they have decided to cut their loses and piss off the big boys who trounced them so roundly by selling up their mobile IP to someone likely to kick sand in the big boys faces instead.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Kick sand in the big boys faces

            Unlikely, especially since they've already licensed those out - to Apple via their long term cross license agreement that was modified to include mobile patents some years ago, and to Android in exchange for the money Android OEMs pay Microsoft.

            Not sure what good they do Xiaomi. I wonder if maybe they had been getting by without paying Microsoft the 'Android tax' and Microsoft was trying to get them to comply and threatening to sue, and they came to this agreement instead.

            Certainly this is further proof for those who are in denial about Microsoft dropping Windows Phone.

        3. kryptylomese

          Re: agreed to buy 1,500 patents

          THIS! It almost seems like Microsoft are in self destruct!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. dervheid
    WTF?

    How many???

    "it shipped 15,048 million units"

    By that account we should all have two each.

    Where's mine?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How many???

      Depends on whether you are using UK or US Billions :)

    2. WonkoTheSane
      Headmaster

      Re: How many???

      Some nations use the comma as a decimal point.

      See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_mark#Countries_using_Arabic_numerals_with_decimal_comma

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Trollface

        Some nations use the comma as a decimal point

        UK Site, Chinese company buying American Patents. Not sure about the Chineses, but the Brits and Americans don't use commas.

        .

        Not to worry - we can all blame the French, so it's OK.

  5. Drat

    Continuing the present day microsoft strategy of forcing its software on people, rather than the strategy in the 90's and early 00's of writing good (not great) software that people really wanted.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: forcing its software on people

        > If this is going to be uninstallable bloatware

        You can uninstall apps on Xiaomi's MIUI versions of Android. (I only know this because I spent too much time on the XDA forums last night, looking at what was available for my Huawei handset, then looked into whether installing MIUI would be worthwhile for me).

  6. Ian Emery Silver badge

    +1 for Dave 126

    I have had my Xiaomi for over a year, a great phone that is fully customisable software-wise; you dont even have to run MIUI if you dont want to, plenty of 3rd party ROMS for their phones.

    I do worry that a tie-up will M$ will doom them though, M$ do seem to have the anti-Midas touch (everything they touch turns to shit)

  7. x 7

    whats the point of selling patents to a company in a country that systematically ignores foreign patent rights?

    Unless....the next deal is for Xiaomi to start making Microsoft-branded mobile phones for world consumption and Xiaomi wanted some kind of leverage/protection if Apple, Samsung, Google et al decided to try to sue them out of the world market.

    My guess is MS are going to carry on selling phones - they just wont be using the ex-Nokia plants to make them.

  8. saif

    Was FAT32 part of the deal?

    That is the big question

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Was FAT32 part of the deal?

      The FAT32 patent has expired, that is why they are pushing exFAT ...

      Windows cannot format a volume greater than 32Gb to FAT32 (natively), whereas Linux, Mac OS X and many other OS' can format much larger volumes (I managed 1Tb, have not yet tried bugger) to FAT32 ...

      They would never sell the exFAT patent, that is what they use to squeeze ever more money out of everybody (similar, yet NOT the same as the Android extortion scheme)

      1. Vic

        Re: Was FAT32 part of the deal?

        (I managed 1Tb, have not yet tried bugger)

        That really is too much information...

        Vic.

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