Google chairman Eric Schmidt has issued yet another public challenge to Microsoft’s Android protection initiative said to be worth an estimated $444 million from license agreements alone during fiscal 2012. The executive and Google’s former CEO on Wednesday sent a message of support to its Asian partners at a local forum in Taipei and launched an attack on Microsoft’s aggressive Android tactics, per Taiwan News report:
We disagree with Microsoft that anyone needs to pay Microsoft a royalty fee for products they didn’t build. I want to emphasize that Google built these products, not Microsoft. We tell our partners, including the ones in Taiwan, that we will support them.
During his first-ever Taipei visit, Schmidt had a meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou and is scheduled to meet with the region’s technology leaders, including HTC’s Cher Wang Asustek’s Jonney Shih. Just a day earlier, Schmidt reinforced Google’s stance that Android will remain royalty-free.
Microsoft has been signing up device makers left and right for its Android protection pact, citing alleged patent infringements. The Guardian reported yesterday that talks are underway to sign up Chinese-based manufacturer Huawei. Microsoft has managed to push a number of Android vendors into patent deals requiring them to pay a few bucks each time a device is sold. HTC is paying an estimated $5 royalty per device, Samsung is signed up, and other vendors including ViewSonic, Acer, GDI, and Compal Electronics add to deals with well over ten manufacturers. In all, the Redmond firm reached licenses for well over half the Android devices.