Microsoft has signed a patent-licensing agreement with yet another company making Android and Chrome OS devices. The latest to sign on the dotted line is Dell.
But unlike many of the other Android and Chrome OS patent deals Microsoft has forged, the Microsoft-Dell relationship is a cross-patent licensing agreement.
The March 26 agreement "is the continuation of a nearly 30-year business relationship between Microsoft and Dell to deliver world-class technologies to consumers," according to Microsoft's press release.
"Through this arrangement, Microsoft and Dell have agreed to license each company’s applicable intellectual property related to Android and Chrome OS devices and Xbox gaming consoles. Under the terms of the agreement, they agreed on royalties for Dell’s products running the Android or Chrome platforms and on consideration to Dell for a license for Xbox gaming consoles," according to the companies.
Dell is selling the Chromebook 11, as well as several Android-based tablets.
As far as what "on consideration to Dell for a license for Xbox gaming consoles" means, Microsoft officials said they are not commenting beyond what is in the press release. I hear this does not mean Dell might be manufacturing and selling Xbox consoles. Instead, I think that phrase means that Microsoft is or may be licensing some unnamed intellectual property from Dell that it uses in Xbox consoles.
Microsoft has signed Android and Chrome OS patent agreements with more than 20 companies over the past few years. Microsoft has not disclosed publicly on which patents it claims Android and Chrome OS infringes.