Now here are two unlikely bedfellows...
This week Microsoft has announced it has signed a wide-ranging patent cross licensing agreement with Amazon. The deal gives access to each other's patent portfolio and allows Microsoft to get its hands on the Kindle tech, so expect it to be heavily integrated into the Windows environment over the coming months. For its part Amazon gets to dive into Microsoft's monstrous array of IP as it looks to expand its range of services, software and hardware.
No monetary value was put on the agreement, but Amazon will pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount which gives an idea of the weighting between the two.
“We are pleased to have entered into this patent license agreement with Amazon.com,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate VP and deputy general counsel for Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. “Microsoft’s patent portfolio is the largest and strongest in the software industry, and this agreement demonstrates our mutual respect for intellectual property as well as our ability to reach pragmatic solutions to IP issues regardless of whether proprietary or open source software is involved.”
All of which makes core Kindle integration into Windows Phone Series 7 about as nailed on as the chance of rain in London this decade. It also isn't without precedent since Microsoft has entered into similar agreements over the years with the likes of HP, LG, Nikon, Novell, Pentax, Pioneer, Samsung, Fuji and - yes - Apple. Really.
Betcha didn't know that...