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Apple licensed iPhone, iPad patents to Microsoft, with "anti-clone" restriction

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Apple's patent licensing director Boris Teksler testified that the company licensed a series of patents to Microsoft, but failed to reach a licensing agreement with Samsung despite reaching out to the company in October of 2010.

Teksler said he could "count on one hand" the number of times Apple had licensed its prize patents to other companies, making its offer to negotiate a patent portfolio license to Samsung noteworthy.

Among the few companies to license Apple's patents were Microsoft, but "there was no right with respect to these design patents [for Microsoft] to build clones of any type," Teksler testified, noting that the agreement prohibited Microsoft from building devices using iPhone and iPad designs.

That "no clone" agreement might help explain why Microsoft partnered with Palm and then Nokia rather than seeking to acquire them, in its efforts to gain traction for Wiindows Mobile and then Windows Phone 7.

Industry observers expected the company to follow the iPod-like Zune with a "Zune Phone" of its own design, but that never happened. Interestingly, Microsoft is now seeking to release a tablet it named "Surface" in a bid to challenge the iPad.

Surface
Surface marks Microsoft's first foray into the tablet hardware market. | Source: Microsoft


That decision has not only ruffled the feathers of Microsoft's hardware partners, but may also create issues with Apple's "no clone" restrictions within the two companies' cross-patent licensing agreement.

Microsoft has gone so far to call Surface a "design point" that would help ostensibly its hardware partners, rather than compete with them, but it has also clearly positioned the new product concept as its own iPad, with a design that associates with Apple at least as close as Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
post #2 of 42

Is this a consequence of the famous Jobs-Gates deal of 1997 continuing in force beyond the five years mentioned then, or a new deal between Microsoft and Apple?

post #3 of 42

Apple and M$ are interesting bed partners, MS is walking a thin line and they really do not want to piss off Apple that is for sure. Gates and Jobs somehow admired one another in their own way.

post #4 of 42
Samsung devices aren't clones just because they're black rectangles with a bezel. It's because theyre that AND have a host of other similarities.

The MS Surface doesn't appear to be as offensive to me, any more than the Kindle Fire is offensive.
post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

Is this a consequence of the famous Jobs-Gates deal of 1997 continuing in force beyond the five years mentioned then, or a new deal between Microsoft and Apple?

no, i'd say it was written into the original deal to develop word and excel for the original mac ....... !!??!!

post #6 of 42

Basically AAPL and MSFT have same enemy - GOOG, that's why they're together. The moment GOOG is defeated, the moment these 2 companies will start fighting each other.

post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Samsung devices aren't clones just because they're black rectangles with a bezel. It's because theyre that AND have a host of other similarities.
The MS Surface doesn't appear to be as offensive to me, any more than the Kindle Fire is offensive.

I agree with this completely. The Surface really does try to do something new with the tablet space. To me, that is a worthy competitor to the iPad (still want the iPad to win). Notice, there is no one who is even remotely sane or intelligent who could confuse the Surface with the iPad. Even the Kindle Fire has enough distinction in it so your average person wouldn't confuse the two.

Same-sung, however, you cannot say that. They are damn near identical.

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post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Samsung devices aren't clones just because they're black rectangles with a bezel. It's because theyre that AND have a host of other similarities.
The MS Surface doesn't appear to be as offensive to me, any more than the Kindle Fire is offensive.

 

totally agree. microsoft did its own thing and doesnt look to be emulating the ipads design in any way other than the face of it. the back and body are clearly different, as is their cover for the screen with the keyboard and mouse built in. those are unique just as much as the windows os running on it is. i dont see any reason apple would get its panties in a knot over this. 

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post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Eggleston View Post


I agree with this completely. The Surface really does try to do something new with the tablet space. To me, that is a worthy competitor to the iPad (still want the iPad to win). Notice, there is no one who is even remotely sane or intelligent who could confuse the Surface with the iPad. Even the Kindle Fire has enough distinction in it so your average person wouldn't confuse the two.
Same-sung, however, you cannot say that. They are damn near identical.

I will almost guarantee that if/when the Surface is actually released that it will be confused for an Apple iPad by some significant percentage of casual onlookers. If 25% of those shown a B&N Nook thought it was an iPad (according to Apple's own expert) it's not much of a stretch to think this one might be confused for an Apple product by even more people.

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post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Samsung devices aren't clones just because they're black rectangles with a bezel. It's because theyre that AND have a host of other similarities.
The MS Surface doesn't appear to be as offensive to me, any more than the Kindle Fire is offensive.

 

 

Does the surface have inertial scrolling and rubber banding? I can't imagine these tiles usable at all without inertial scrolling. 

And if it does have it, then it is not just a "black rectangle" anymore.

post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Apple and M$ are interesting bed partners, MS is walking a thin line and they really do not want to piss off Apple that is for sure. Gates and Jobs somehow admired one another in their own way.

 

Back in their early days, both Gates and Jobs were both against the man -- the fifdoms of the maimframe computer establishment.  Then they [both] became the establishment.

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post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I will almost guarantee that if/when the Surface is actually released that it will be confused for an Apple iPad by some significant percentage of casual onlookers. If 25% of those shown a B&N Nook thought it was an iPad (according to Apple's own expert) it's not much of a stretch to think this one might be confused for an Apple product by even more people.

Yeah, just look at Mac listings on any Craigslist.  People don't even know the names of the items they are selling.  My favorite recently was a Mac Pro 12 core for sale in Portland with Thunderbolt.

How do these people have jobs?  Or ever find their keys?  Or manage to get their skivvies under their pants?

post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

Yeah, just look at Mac listings on any Craigslist.  People don't even know the names of the items they are selling.  My favorite recently was a Mac Pro 12 core for sale in Portland with Thunderbolt.

How do these people have jobs?  Or ever find their keys?  Or manage to get their skivvies under their pants?

 

And for our friends in the UK, I sure hope the pants are underneath something.....

post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Basically AAPL and MSFT have same enemy - GOOG, that's why they're together. The moment GOOG is defeated, the moment these 2 companies will start fighting each other.

Prrreeeaaaccchhh

 

 


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post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Basically AAPL and MSFT have same enemy - GOOG, that's why they're together. The moment GOOG is defeated, the moment these 2 companies will start fighting each other.

Shhh, Ballmer doesn't even know of this.

 

Seriously... this is bidness.   Apple gets a pass on any Microsoft legal attacks, and Microsoft can make a rectangular tablet ;-) (okay, semi-seriously).   Apple wants its deck cleared of any other litigation, and MS needs to gain a foothold in the marketplace.    Google won't be defeated, but Samsung et al will need to either pay that $30 per device to Apple (probably the best case out of this petition), making them not very profitable against the iPad, Or basically telling Samsung and Google and everyone else to rejigger the OS UI to make it non-infringing, and pay 2Billion in punitive damages because Samsung has acted as if the legal system didn't matter.   

 

I think the key difference is the metro UI... no one will claim MS is copying iOS.  

 

 

 

Personally, I think apple will have a leg up on MS on any fight relating to mobile devices until Win9 is released. 

post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Apple and M$ are interesting bed partners, MS is walking a thin line and they really do not want to piss off Apple that is for sure. Gates and Jobs somehow admired one another in their own way.


Hmmm.... methink this "agreement" might have some fine-print about porting MS-Office to iOS???  

post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


Hmmm.... methink this "agreement" might have some fine-print about porting MS-Office to iOS???  

 

I think you put too much value on MS-Office. MS needs its office on iPad way more than Apple does.  

post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

 

I think you put too much value on MS-Office. MS needs its office on iPad way more than Apple does.  

 

Well, if they did, I would buy it. (as long as it isn't $300....lol.gif )

post #19 of 42

...(nevermind)...too volatile for the thread.

post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post


Does the surface have inertial scrolling and rubber banding? I can't imagine these tiles usable at all without inertial scrolling. 
And if it does have it, then it is not just a "black rectangle" anymore.

Wouldn't that fall under the above mentioned licensed IP?

They're paying to use it, so they can use it.

Win8 and WP7 have vastly different UIs than iOS, where it's been shown that Samsung went out of its way to make Android look even more like iOS, down to the icons and their placement. Oh, and the packaging.
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


Hmmm.... methink this "agreement" might have some fine-print about porting MS-Office to iOS???  

 

I had the same thought when I heard of the sweat deal Apple and MS inked for their touch products. Apple is well on it's way toward being welcomed into the enterprise and government organizations with the iPhone and the iPad... and the MacOS isn't doing too badly either. Having MS Office on board those products will grease up the process even further. 

 

MS has got be concerned that if they don't make it possible for iOS to run Office, then Apple's iWork (crippled as it may be) may take a firm foothold in the place of Office for a segment of the enterprise and government workers. 

 

In a few weeks MILLIONS of school students will hold an iPad in their hands for the first time and they will begin to learn how to use iWork to write out their thoughts. Many of them will never look for another writing program again. If I were the MS CEO this thought would be like pouring ice water down my back.

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post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

 

I think you put too much value on MS-Office. MS needs its office on iPad way more than Apple does.  

 

I agree with this!  According to what I've read Office on the WART will be next to unusable because most of the controls (other than the topmost levels) are too small for a touch UI... among other things...

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post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

That decision has not only ruffled the feathers of Microsoft's hardware partners, but may also create issues with Apple's "no clone" restrictions within the two companies' cross-patent licensing agreement.
Microsoft has gone so far to call Surface a "design point" that would help ostensibly its hardware partners, rather than compete with them, but it has also clearly positioned the new product concept as its own iPad, with a design that associates with Apple at least as close as Samsung's Galaxy Tab.

 

 

I think Samsung is completely in the wrong.  They haven't licensed a single thing and they CLEARLY were ripping off physical design and UI in an effort to confuse and mislead.  Samsung is wrong and deserves to be demonized.
 
BUT...AI is spinning this article differently than any other news outlet out there and I think they missed an opportunity.  Every other article I have found is stating why Microsoft is likely SAFE from a Samsung like lawsuit.  Either way the news is spun, assumptions are required, but AI is clearly taking quite a few liberties.  Apple has made no statements to lead anyone to believe Microsoft has violated its agreement with them.  AI seems to believe they just haven't gotten around to it.  Others in the media are looking at it as a hint to the contents of the agreement.  Bottom line is no one really knows, but here is what others are saying....
 
We know Samsung has gone so far as to copy both the physical design and the the UI.  Unlike Microsoft, they have no agreement with Apple what so ever, and they will likely pay a very high price for that.  Windows 8 itself looks COMPLETELY different from iOS while the Surface itself looks very similar to the iPad.  Without knowing the precise text of the agreement, we have no idea what qualifies as a "clone".  The conclusion that other outlets are drawing is that Microsoft is paying Apple so their product can look and function similar to the iPad, but have agreed the overall appearance of the UI will be unique to Microsoft.  Anyone that has actually used Windows 8 knows just how different it is, for better or worse.  To suggest they have broken an agreement is frivolous.  To assume they are abiding by it seems more likely based on the facts we have (or don't have) at this point in time.   Apple is now the bigger than Microsoft, which is pretty amazing when you think about it.  Signing an agreement and turning around and violating it would be the WORST thing they could possibly do.  If they planned to violate patents, they would be better off having no agreement with Apple at all.  Any patent lawyer will tell you that ignorance is a better defense in patent law than negligence.
 
You may not like it or agree with everything I have said (or anything), but you are allowed to pay someone for a license to their technology.  Until Apple says otherwise, Microsoft may be on the up and up...for once.  
 
Where did AI miss an opportunity?  Realize that this if this deal is true, there is finally some retribution for Apple.  Apple has finally backed Microsoft into a corner.  Every surface Microsoft sells will now result in money going to Apple.  It could be that finally, after all these years, every copy of Windows 8 that sells will result in money going to Apple.  Both of these conclusions should make an Apple fan smile...at least a little.  
 
That's a more positive spin that AI could put on this article while still making it relevant and pro-Apple. 
 
EDIT:
 
I also want to agree with others are saying.  I think Microsoft is trying to stay on good terms with Apple because they realize if Windows continues to loose share to iOS in the consumer space, they need to be able to be offer products like Office to iOS users and SmartGlass for Xbox.  They seem to be trying to embrace and compete with iOS in a way that Google is not, as I haven't heard of Google paying Apple royalties for Android.

Edited by rednival - 8/13/12 at 1:55pm
post #24 of 42

Negotiations for the licensing deal between Apple & Microsoft must have started when Steve Jobs was still around and I would have thought that once bitten, Apple would be twice shy. Not so, it appears. This deal must be tied down really tight as the first one, which allowed MS to basically copy Mac OS (pre-OS X) was so loosely worded that Apple ended up losing its legal wars.

 

Apple will never again give away its technology by loosely worded contracts, and will never be held to ransom as it was by Microsoft's blackmail tactics in developing Office for System 7/8/9 so it stands to reason that Apple is the greater beneficiary of this deal.

 

The deal with MS also gives an indication of Apple's confidence in its ability to design & sell future products, therefore negating the argument that Apple is only suing Samsung to slow down the spread of Android tablets, and the newly released figure of Samsung's actual and pathetic sales of its tablets certainly backs up the position that Apple fears no-one and will stand or fall on the popularity and demand for its products.

post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Basically AAPL and MSFT have same enemy - GOOG, that's why they're together. The moment GOOG is defeated, the moment these 2 companies will start fighting each other.

Ah... just as someone had predicted. I wonder how long it will be before we get to the grassy knoll....

post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

 

I had the same thought when I heard of the sweat deal Apple and MS inked for their touch products. Apple is well on it's way toward being welcomed into the enterprise and government organizations with the iPhone and the iPad... and the MacOS isn't doing too badly either. Having MS Office on board those products will grease up the process even further. 

 

MS has got be concerned that if they don't make it possible for iOS to run Office, then Apple's iWork (crippled as it may be) may take a firm foothold in the place of Office for a segment of the enterprise and government workers. 

 

In a few weeks MILLIONS of school students will hold an iPad in their hands for the first time and they will begin to learn how to use iWork to write out their thoughts. Many of them will never look for another writing program again. If I were the MS CEO this thought would be like pouring ice water down my back.

 

I agree with this too... In our household of 2 adults and 3 teenagers, we no longer have any Windows software.  We all have iPads and there are 3 iMacs.   Pages is used for everything from soccer mom stuff, church stuff, homework, non-email communication (less and less as time goes by).  Word is legacy bloat. Excel is fantastic -- but overkill for mere mortals, Keynote is better than PowerPoint.

 

Add to this that any iWork apps you do on your [late model 2 or 3] iPad can be AirPlayed (streamed & mirrored} to your HDTV via AppleTV -- a great way to practice and review the content you create with others.

 

 

OT, but an interesting note for future trends.  Apple's Final Cut Pro X was completely rewritten from the ground up, with emphasis on speed and efficiency.  With my latest, loaded, iMac 27, the latest OS X ML, and the latest Apple TV iOS 6, I can run FCP X on the Mac and mirror it to the AppleTV (see it on both the Mac and the TV).  Further, I was rendering/sharing the video in the background while it was playing.   What makes this especially interesting is that you cannot play a video in the Mac's iTunes and see it on both screens -- the Mac screen just displays a dialog that the video is being mirrored on the TV.

 

OS X and iOS share some common core capabilities -- as the iPad hardware and OS evolve, I think we'll see the ability to AirPlay among Macs and iPads and AppleTVs -- in both directions.

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post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sip View Post

Negotiations for the licensing deal between Apple & Microsoft must have started when Steve Jobs was still around and I would have thought that once bitten, Apple would be twice shy. Not so, it appears. This deal must be tied down really tight as the first one, which allowed MS to basically copy Mac OS (pre-OS X) was so loosely worded that Apple ended up losing its legal wars.

 

Apple will never again give away its technology by loosely worded contracts, and will never be held to ransom as it was by Microsoft's blackmail tactics in developing Office for System 7/8/9 so it stands to reason that Apple is the greater beneficiary of this deal.

 

The deal with MS also gives an indication of Apple's confidence in its ability to design & sell future products, therefore negating the argument that Apple is only suing Samsung to slow down the spread of Android tablets, and the newly released figure of Samsung's actual and pathetic sales of its tablets certainly backs up the position that Apple fears no-one and will stand or fall on the popularity and demand for its products.

 

Sculley was CEO when the prior license agreement was made.  I suspect that Jobs was not even consulted.


Edited by Dick Applebaum - 8/13/12 at 3:15pm
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post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

 

I think you put too much value on MS-Office. MS needs its office on iPad way more than Apple does.  


I think you don't put enough value on MS-Office.  iWork is barely useable for our enterprise Excel worksheets, more specifically the page and cell formatting does not translate well.

Apple would love to have MS-Office for iOS.  It's a win-win for both sides.  I think it's just an ego issue for Microsoft to put it out in the App store. 

post #29 of 42

I'm wondering what patents were licensed. I read "design patents" on one of the other sites. This hardly seems necessary for MS given that this isn't something that would be mistaken for an ipad, and it doesn't match any of the ipad design patents unless you really do interpret those as nothing more than a rectangle with a black bezel.

post #30 of 42

First off, Windows 8 is HELLA ugly, like their background colors aren't customizable, adn they're like also-ran pastels wayyy past their expiration date.  second, why does Microsoft insist on renaming products the same thing? Remember the original Microsoft Surface? it was a table sized thing, now they're using that name again?! Really Microsoft, you're not even creative enough to come up with a new name?


Edited by marcusj0015 - 8/13/12 at 6:59pm
post #31 of 42
Originally Posted by marcusj0015 View Post
…like their background colors aren't customizable…

 

In both the Release Preview (available now) and final release of Windows 8, everything about The Interface Formerly Known As Metro is customizable in this fashion. Also, the public beta before the Release Preview had that functionality, so I'm not sure where you're getting that.

 

…second, why does Microsoft insist on renaming products the same thing? Remember the original Microsoft Surface? it was a table sized thing, now they're using that name again?! Really Microsoft, you're not even creative enough to come up with a new name?
 

Good thing Apple doesn't do… 

 

1000

1000

Oh.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

In both the Release Preview (available now) and final release of Windows 8, everything about The Interface Formerly Known As Metro is customizable in this fashion. Also, the public beta before the Release Preview had that functionality, so I'm not sure where you're getting that.

 

Good thing Apple doesn't do… 

 

1000

1000

Oh.

I've used the Release preview thank you very much, and they're customizable if you understand cusstomizable as the ability to choose from a handful of pre-defined colors, I clearly meant not customizable, as in there's no color picker or the option to create a non predefined color set.

 

And about the iBooks app, that's an app vs a laptop, clearly seperate product segments, not to mention the iBook laptop has been dead for what, 5-6 years now?

 

now, on the other hand, Microsoft creating a laptop/tablet hybrid and naming it Surface, and their table computer (which they still sell AFAIK) being named Surface, causes confusion.

post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Samsung devices aren't clones just because they're black rectangles with a bezel. It's because theyre that AND have a host of other similarities.
The MS Surface doesn't appear to be as offensive to me, any more than the Kindle Fire is offensive.

I don't think anyone is going to confuse the surface with an iPad unless retail sales staff are purposely calling it an iPad.

 

There's two design features, the keyboard-cover, and the "kickstand" that differentiate it from the current iPad, and the OS doesn't look anything like iOS. If Apple has indeed licensed the patents to Microsoft, then Microsoft can make something that comes close to, but isn't a complete copy of the iPad. Unless someone has a copy of the agreement, we don't really know what the stipulations are. Is it simply "you won't make any iPod,iPhone,iPad type" devices or more vague like "You won't make or sublicence to anyone else the rights to make devices that look and function like ours."

post #34 of 42

Microsoft has certainly kept that agreement, their mobile GUI is very different looking to Apple's.

post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusj0015 View Post

And about the iBooks app, that's an app vs a laptop, clearly seperate product segments, not to mention the iBook laptop has been dead for what, 5-6 years now?

 

 

I was thinking that was the white MacBook instead but looking mroe carefully it is the G4 iBook.  Yeah, 6 years

post #36 of 42
so the Late Steve jobs and Bill Gates were friends... I don't see how cross-licensing these patents with a no-clone clause helps Microsoft...
i guess it is a type of "dot your "I"'s and cross your "T"'s " arrangement...
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

Is this a consequence of the famous Jobs-Gates deal of 1997 continuing in force beyond the five years mentioned then, or a new deal between Microsoft and Apple?

 

 

At the time of the that agreement Apple and Microsoft entered into an extensive cross licensing agreement covering both companies patents. It is one of the reasons Apple was able to bake exchange support into the OS of its products.

post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by haar View Post

so the Late Steve jobs and Bill Gates were friends... I don't see how cross-licensing these patents with a no-clone clause helps Microsoft...
i guess it is a type of "dot your "I"'s and cross your "T"'s " arrangement...

 

 

It helps Microsoft in two ways. One Microsoft doesn't make a lot hardware. Two Microsoft can use Apple's utility patents, but not its design patents. Apple wants its products to look original.

post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Microsoft has certainly kept that agreement, their mobile GUI is very different looking to Apple's.

 

 

Agreed. If didn't love Apple products, I would go with Metro over Android. In my view, Nokia makes the best iPhone competitor in terms of hardware.

post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


I think you don't put enough value on MS-Office.  iWork is barely useable for our enterprise Excel worksheets, more specifically the page and cell formatting does not translate well.

Apple would love to have MS-Office for iOS.  It's a win-win for both sides.  I think it's just an ego issue for Microsoft to put it out in the App store. 

 

 

I agree the translation from software to software is poor. However, Office is not as important as it once was. The Mac creates PDF files quite easily. Where the problem exists is when you have to share documents to edit. I don't care for most of Microsoft's Office Suite, but I do prefer Word over Pages.

 

The user interface in iWorks is inconsistent with the OS GUI. It drives me nuts.

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