If one is to believe the latest rumors from Taiwan, Microsoft is throwing its legal weight around to keep Android and the Chrome OS off of Acer and Asus netbooks. So reports DigiTimes, which learned from its sources that the company intends to seek royalties from Taiwanese hardware makers who use the Google operating systems. The "e-mail, multimedia and other functions" of these OSes allegedly infringe on Microsoft’s patents.
No, I’m not making this up. DigiTimes says cell phone maker HTC has already "signed for licensed use of Microsoft patents," and Microsoft demands "at least" $10-15 per phone in royalties. The site goes on to explain that Acer and Asus don’t sell high volumes of phones, so by targeting them, Microsoft could be attempting to discourage the firms from straying from Windows with their other products—netbooks, that is.
I don’t know about the veracity of this report, but this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Microsoft (or Intel, for that matter) exerting pressure to keep Google- and ARM-products at bay. In August, DigiTimes reported that PC vendors weren’t terribly excited about offering Atom-based slates running Windows, but they would do so anyway, partly to "maintain their relationships with Intel and Microsoft."