Microsoft's purchase of AOL patents may be about a Google map war

Microsoft's purchase of AOL patents may be about a Google map war

Summary: If you connect the dots AOL's patent sale to Microsoft may have a lot to do with the Bing Maps, Mapquest, OpenStreetMap trio vs. Google Maps.

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TOPICS: Legal, Google, Microsoft
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Microsoft bought AOL's patents in a deal valued at $1.056 billion and may have just accelerated a Web map war with Google.

In a statement, AOL said it will sell more than 800 of its patents and patent applications to Microsoft. The deal includes shares of an undisclosed subsidiary so AOL can take a loss for tax purposes.

The deal is good for both parties and the patent auction was apparently competitive, according to Microsoft.

Why would these patents be so hot? There's a Web mapping war going on. Let's connect a few dots:

As mobile location-based services ramp mapping is vital. Google Maps is intertwined with corporate applications and various mashups too. Microsoft has powerful mapping tools too.

Add it up and its a mapping war that pits Google Maps against the OpenStreetMap/Mapquest/Microsoft trio. On March 1, Mapquest said on its developer blog:

Is 2012 the year of Open mapping? We've been ecstatic to see the energy around OpenStreetMap, and have noticed several applications recently convert to using MapQuest-OSM tiles and other companies like foursquare embrace OpenStreetMap as a foundation of their business.

Now it has Mapquest intellectual property in the fold, it will have the tools to either nudge out Google Maps or at the very least sue.

Topics: Legal, Google, Microsoft

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59 comments
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  • MS thinks Google Maps and Search is used over BING beause of anti-trust...

    I just really don't want to use Bing Maps, Mapquest, OpenStreetMap; I even uninstalled Skype the minute MS bought it and haven't gone back. I won't ever use Windows phone 8 no matter how good or bad it is. I think my view is shared by a lot of people. We don't use Google because we're too stupid to know better, we use it because Google has never pulled the kind of garbage MS has in regards to component lock in, service lock in, itemized feature based billing, or in using it's market position to manipulate other companies into putting each other out of business. MS is a bully, it's been a bully for a long time. Consumers try and voice their discontent by not using MS services, and MS calls it anti-trust.

    Really Pathetic.
    Socratesfoot
    • same here

      the people in the FOSS community will never use M$ products!
      The Linux Geek
      • Hey, Linux Geek...

        ever hear of ESRI?
        apetti
    • Your view is not shared by as many as you believe

      Google is in the news far more often then Microsoft in reference to the "garbage they pull", with a great many of principle discarding Google products, with no desire to use them again until they clean up their practices.

      I imagine this is more a defensive move, as Google is likely planning to pull some more "dirty tricks" in an effort to bully users and companies into capitulating to Google's demands., which is why we use no Google products at out place of business.

      And there are quite a few that have taklen that stance, also.
      :|
      Tim Cook
      • Google is likely planning to pull some more "dirty tricks" - Yea Right!

        When did Google use patents offensively?

        "which is why we use no Google products at out place of business."
        Yea because Microsoft corporate office don't use Google product. I bet the same true to the majority of microsoft employee commenters here.
        korseypig
    • Google is watching

      I will never use Google. They have no concept of private information and privacy. Microsoft is not great, Google is just worse.
      hayneiii@...
      • Privacy? Really?

        Do you honesty believe that you have privacy on line, with any one? Just for the fun of it, create a second identity on line. Use any email provider you choose. Then use it for a week or so. Trust me, privacy is a thing of the past, and with 7 billion people on the planet, why should if care I someone knows about me. I've got nothing to hide.
        carolinagirl38D
    • You have to be really naive to believe that google doesn't do those things

      They manipulate search results to make their services show up and competitors are relegated to lower results. This is the same as bundling a browser with your OS. You're not forced their services even if they show up first, but most people won't ever realize that.

      All corporations are in it for the money no matter what they say. It just makes it worse when a company claims they 'do no evil' while behind the scenes they do
      Ransh
      • Living the dream....

        And what is wrong exactly with wanting to make money?
        Every shop big and small in the World wants to do that. Are they all wrong too?

        Gee, Ransh, you need to move to a different planet. :)
        ProfQuatermass
      • But diddling the search hits...

        to skew users toward your own products at the very considerable cost to other businesses relying on your search engine to keep them visible?? The day Google pairing their search engine with their advertising engine represented the genesis of one hell of a conflict of interest... one that dwarfs almost anything MS came up with!
        kaninelupus
      • @ProfQuatermass

        Nobody said that making money or at least trying to was wrong. It's all about how they go about making money that matters.
        non-biased
    • Nice troll baiting

      but oh so boring.... *yawn*
      kaninelupus
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  • Smart move by M$

    My guess is that this is not directly a map aquisition for comsumer map product distribution. I'm thinkin more to the AE, advertising (GPS) side of things. Hell yahoo is soon to go belly up and M$ will get theirs for cheap too. Way to go yahoo.
    droidfromsd
    • Who is this "M$" you speak of?

      I am surprised that in this day and age, many of you humans still find it difficult to spell.

      :|
      Tim Cook
      • It's the materialistic dollar sign...

        ...you greedy little pretend aliens hide behind.
        ScorpioBlack
      • Seriously?!?!

        That's the best you have? Oh, and by the way, what does "taklen" mean? Aliens that live in glass houses should not throw stones. You may want to refer back to your earlier post.
        dpbriley
      • .

        ??
        BGunnells
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    RiddleMicheal
  • Microsoft's purchase of AOL patents may be about a Google map war

    I'm all for anything that knocks Google down, and because this time its Microsoft that doubles my pleasure.
    Loverock Davidson-