Fostering Innovation

  • Microsoft’s New Patent Agreement with Compal: A New Milestone for Our Android Licensing Program

    Posted by Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez
    Executive Vice President and General Counsel & Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft

    Today, Microsoft announced its tenth license agreement providing coverage under our patent portfolio for Android mobile phones and tablets. Today's agreement is with Compal, one of the world’s largest Original Design Manufacturers, or ODMs. Compal is based in Taiwan, where it produces smartphones and tablet computers for third parties and has revenue of roughly $28 billion per year.

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  • Our Licensing Deal with Samsung: How IP Drives Innovation and Collaboration

    Posted by Brad Smith & Horacio Gutierrez
    General Counsel & Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft

    Today, Microsoft announced a patent cross-licensing agreement with Samsung that will provide coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets. The agreement also gives both companies greater patent coverage relating to each other’s technologies, and opens the door to a deeper partnership in the development of new phones for the Windows Phone platform.

    In the context of all the attention intellectual property matters have received in recent months, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the meaning and impact of these agreements. The Samsung license agreement marks the seventh agreement Microsoft has signed in the past three months with hardware manufacturers that use Android as an operating system for their smartphones and tablets. The previous six were with Acer, General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic and Wistron.

    Together with the license agreement signed last year with HTC, today’s agreement with Samsung means that the top two Android handset manufacturers in the United States have now acquired licenses to Microsoft’s patent portfolio.

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  • Helping people protect their Hotmail accounts

    Posted by Walter Harp
    Director of Product Management, Windows Live

    Over the past few months, Windows Live has announced several new security features that will provide additional account protection for people on Hotmail, including Single Use Codes, Full Session SSL, SMS-based account recovery, and Trusted Senders – this all in addition to our SmartScreen safety filter, which helps protect people against phishing and malware.  You’ll see even more from us in the weeks ahead.

    In the last two years, consumer webmail and social networking services across the web have experienced an increase in the incidence of hijacking, which occurs when someone illegally gains access to another person’s account – email, social profile - and then uses that account for malicious activity. In a typical scenario, hackers will hijack large numbers of accounts and then use those accounts to send spam or social invites to the victims’ friends or others on the victims’ contact lists. 

    As two security experts from Google and Microsoft discussed yesterday on the video embedded in this blog, no consumer email or social networking service is immune to this challenge.

  • Advancing Consumer Trust and Privacy: Internet Explorer in Windows 8

    Posted by Brendon Lynch
    Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft

    Today, Microsoft announced Windows 8 has reached Release Preview and Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 will have “Do Not Track” (DNT) on by default. This post includes additional thoughts about this important milestone in our effort to advance trust and consumer privacy online. Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 will be the first browser to have DNT on by default. Consumers can change this setting, but the default will be to send the DNT signal to websites that consumers visit.

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  • Advancing the Idea of Collective Action to Improve Internet Security and Privacy

    At the RSA 2011 conference in San Francisco, Microsoft’s Scott Charney presented a proposal for collective defense against botnets and malware that threaten consumer devices connected to the Internet.