With Microsoft Patent Dispute Resolved, Samsung Debuts Android-Based Tablet

Samsung's use of the Android mobile operating system

On Wednesday Microsoft and Samsung announced a patent portfolio cross-licensing deal under which Samsung will pay Microsoft a royalty for every Android-based tablet and smartphone.

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus runs on a 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU and Android 3.2, and comes with 1 GB of RAM and 802.11 n wireless support. The 7-inch screen puts the devices at the low end of the Galaxy Tab line, which already includes devices with 7.7-, 8.9- and 10.1-inch screens.

Earlier this week Amazon jumped into the tablet market with its Kindle Fire, which has a $199 price tag, providing more competition for Samsung and other tablet manufacturers.

Under the patent deal with Microsoft, Samsung also agreed to "cooperate in the development and marketing of Windows Phone," according to a Microsoft statement, in addition to paying royalties for Android-based devices.

Sponsored post

Samsung already offers Windows Phone-based cell phones, including the Omnia and Focus lines. But Microsoft may have used the patent settlement as an opportunity to get a greater commitment from Samsung: An InformationWeek article earlier this month said Samsung was considering dropping Windows Phone at the end of 2012 in favor of its own OS Bada operating system.

"Microsoft and Samsung see the opportunity for dramatic growth in Windows Phone and we're investing to make that a reality," said Andy Lees, president of the Microsoft Windows Phone Division, in a statement. The same press release quoted Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, Samsung executive vice president of global product strategy, as saying the deal "open[s] a new chapter of collaboration beginning with our Windows Phone 'Mango' launch this fall."

Microsoft and Samsung generally have a tight relationship. Earlier this month at its Build conference in Anaheim, Calif., Microsoft handed out free Samsung tablets loaded with the developer version of Windows 8.

Samsung, the largest marketer of Android-based phones, joins a number of other manufacturers of Android-based devices in agreeing to pay Microsoft royalties. That list includes Acer, HTC, Onkyo and ViewSonic.

Google makes Android available to manufacturers for free. This week, in a statement sent to the TechCrunch Website, Google criticized the Samsung-Microsoft deal, saying that Microsoft is "resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others' achievements and hinder the pace of innovation."