Foxconn to pay Microsoft for Android devices it makes?

Device maker Foxconn Technology Group may have to pay royalties to Microsoft Corp. for every device the Chinese company builds that would run Google’s Android or Chrome operating system.

Foxconn’s parent company, Hon Hai said it signed a deal to license Microsoft patents on smart phones, tablets and television built by Foxconn that use Google’s software. Neither party has revealed which specific patents are involved and how much the deal cost.

Foxconn already manufactures its own Android tablets using Nvidia’s ARM-compatible Tegra processors, although it is best known as the maker of Apples iPads, iPhones, Amazon’s Kindle e-reader and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console.

So far, the company is one of the largest firms to succumb to Microsoft’s initiative of forcing Linux, Android and Chrome OS device makers to license its patents.

Microsoft estimates that more than half of Android phones are built by companies using its patents. The software maker claims Android, Chrome OS and Linux violates it intellectual property rights, although Microsoft has not specified which patents have been infringed upon.

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