Larry Page sees no evidence that Microsoft’s patent attacks on Android are working, and thinks they will backfire.In his prepared remarks, he said that Android is going nuts. More than 190 million Android devices have now been activated, and that the mobile business (not just Android, but ads from all mobile platforms) is on track for $2.5 billion in revenue this year, up 2.5 times from a year ago.
Later, an analyst asked Page what he was doing to protect the Android ecosystem. Here’s what he said:
We see no signs the patent attacks are effective. We think other companies’ actions there will alienate customers….We announced our intention about Motorola, we’re serious about protecting the Android ecosystem.
When he talks about “customers,” he doesn’t mean end users. They don’t care.
He’s talking about phone operators like Samsung and HTC, which signed patent licensing deals with Microsoft.
(He didn’t mention Microsoft by name in this response, but it’s pretty clear he wasn’t talking about Apple, which makes its own phones and doesn’t need cooperation from other hardware companies.)
His point is very simple: nobody likes to be shaken down. Microsoft will get its money now — and is assured some licensing revenue for every Android phone that these operators sell.
But when it comes to pushing Windows Phone, these phone makers will remember Microsoft’s hardball tactics.