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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

June 27, 2011 at 7:54 AM

General Dynamics Itronix will pay Microsoft to use Google Android

Thumbnail image for general dynamics itronix gd300 android.jpgMicrosoft will profit from another company using competitor Google’s Android software.

General Dynamics Itronix, a company that makes and sells devices that use Android, has will pay Microsoft royalties in a settlement between the two companies, Microsoft said Monday. The companies did not disclose how much General Dynamics will pay Microsoft.

General Dynamics Itronix makes rugged computing devices such as this laptop.

Microsoft has sued several companies that use Google’s free mobile operating system Android, claiming that it infringes on Microsoft’s patents. It has sued Motorola over its smartphones and Barnes & Noble over its e-reader.

Mobile phone maker HTC has already settled with Microsoft, and according to some reports is paying Microsoft $5 for every Android phone it sells. Here is our earlier story on the HTC settlement.

The Windows Phone mobile software from Microsoft competes with Android, which has 100 million users. A royalty of $5 per Android phone is less than how much a Windows Phone license costs, according to Microsoft attorney Brad Smith. Because so many more Android phones are being sold, it’s likely Microsoft makes more total revenue from settling Android patent cases than from selling Windows Phone software.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with General Dynamics Itronix, which is an example of how industry leaders address intellectual property,” said Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel at Microsoft, in a statement.

Mark Johnston, director of Strategic Computing Solutions for General Dynamics Itronix, said in a statement, “The completion of this agreement enables Itronix to meet the evolving demands of our customers with more diverse applications and increased functionality in products that incorporate the Android platform.”

Itronix used to be based in Spokane and employed 380 workers. In 2009, General Dynamics shut down the Spokane plant and moved it to Sunrise, Fla.

Update 8:07 a.m.:

General Dynamics Itronix makes the GD300, a portable computer running Android software for the military to use in the field. It can be worn on the wrist or the chest, it uses GPS and it can be connected to tactical radios. It has a touchscreen that soldiers can use even if they are wearing gloves. The device runs chips designed by ARM.

Microsoft says it plans to develop Windows 8, its next version of Windows, to run on ARM mobile chips.

Here are more details about the GD300.



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