With Google execs stepping out of character to share their frustrations with Microsoft and Apple “banding” together to acquire patents, it seems at least a few execs in Redmond are determined to set the record straight, and for good reason given the fact the company is slated to earn more off Android than their own Windows Phones, according to analyst Horace Dediu.
In response to the open letter from Google’s Vice President and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond accusing Microsoft and Apple of “banding” together to acquire mobile device related patents, Microsoft’ general counsel Brad Smith posted the following via his Twitter account this morning:
“Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”
Microsoft surely doesn’t want to tarnish their relationship with Google, with Android-based HTC phones bringing in three times as much profit in the second quarter in comparison to their own Windows Phone devices. It makes you wonder why Microsoft is spending billions developing and bringing Windows Phone handsets to market when Android devices are clearly their bread and butter in the mobile space. Bloomberg reported in March that Microsoft would pay Nokia over $1 billion to promote and develop Windows Phone devices, a relationship that Bloomberg described could help “stave off a smartphone threat from Apple Inc. and Google Inc”. As recent as January, LG told Pocket-lint their Windows Phone launch didn’t meet expectations and the 1.4 million devices shipped in Q2 2011 brings their overall global market share down 52% from last year, according to Canalys.
What is still unclear, however, is the exact reason Google decided to back out of a potential joint bid. An email tweeted by Microsoft’s Frank Shaw shows a reply to what we can only assume is an offer to join the bid for Novell patents where Google’s general counsel states, “for various reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we’re open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future.”
This clearly won’t be the end of the heated exchange of words between Google and Microsoft execs and we’ll most likely see a response from Google regarding Smith’s tweet. We’ll keep you posted as more becomes available.