If you’ve ever wondered why Microsoft isn’t disappointed with the growth that Android has seen in the last couple of years, it’s because Microsoft actually gets paid for it. Yes, Microsoft has been notorious for owning a crazy amount of the patents that power most of the Android phones in the market today, but the interesting thing is that all of these patents have been kept a secret for years. We don’t understand the purpose for the secrecy, but if you’re interested in the list, it just became public, sort of.
Because of the whole Microsoft-Nokia deal, and mainly because it required the Chinese government to approve of it, part of the sign-off required that Microsoft reveal the patents that it makes money off through Android devices. The list includes 310 patents, out of which 73 were considered standard essential. It’s odd to note that the list is only available in Chinese, for reasons that are not disclosed. If you try to access it in English on the China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) website, or even in Microsoft’s website, these are still kept a secret. This represents a crazy $1 to $2 billion net for Microsoft, which gives you a clear idea of why the company isn’t really worried about competing.
If you’re interested, you can have a look at the full list in this word document. Amazing how Microsoft is building upon its past inventions to secure its future.