Bitter rivals Google and Microsoft have jointly agreed to drop their long-running legal battle over alleged patent infringement, bringing a close to more than a dozen lawsuits in the US and Europe.
Since 2010 Microsoft and Google have been at loggerheads, with the latter claiming that patents it received as part of its Motorola Mobility acquisition were being infringed by Microsoft's Xbox family of gaming products while Microsoft countered by stating that features of Google's Android smartphones and tablets infringed patents of its own. Both demanded damage payments, ongoing royalties, and requested that products were blocked from sale until their competitors agreed to their terms - and, naturally, both argued that such demands from the opposing side were unfair and based in fiction.
Five years on, the two companies have finally reached an agreement - although neither company has revealed financial terms, so it's hard to declare one or the other a winner. 'Google and Microsoft have agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters,
' the two companies explained in a brief joint statement, 'and anticipate working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers.
Over the last few years, Microsoft has been working more heavily with Google's Android platform - a tacit admission that its own Windows Mobile efforts have not won it any considerable share of the market. Back in 2013 it released a remote desktop app
for the platform, followed by MSN
and even Microsoft Office
apps. Its Garage research and development division
has offered several Android and Android Wear projects up for public test, while the company has even invested money in Android distro firm Cyanogen