Google has launched an astonishing attack on Microsoft, accusing the company of using extortion to prop up its failing smartphone business after signing a cross-licensing deal with Samsung for its Android devices.
The deal represented another win for Microsoft after HTC signed a licensing deal worth $5 per handset, and Google is clearly furious that once again its supposedly free Android software has led to a major partner paying a fee to arch rival Microsoft.
"This is the same tactic we've seen time and again from Microsoft. Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, it is resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others' achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners," Google said.
Frank Shaw, Microsoft's vice president of corporate communications, responded to Google's outburst with a tongue-in-cheek reply on Twitter: "Let me boil down the Google statement from 48 words to 1: Waaaah."
Samsung's decision to sign a deal with Microsoft suggests that the firm is not confident in Google's ability to protect Android from growing legal challenges, despite the planned $12.5bn purchase of Motorola Mobility.
Software patent expert Florian Mueller said that the deal "reduces to absurdity the idea that Google is going to be able to protect Android after the acquisition of Motorola Mobility".
The Samsung deal and the clear irritation it has caused Google will no doubt give Microsoft a welcome boost as the firm attempts to gain traction in the ultra competitive smartphone market.
The news comes in the same week that Microsoft announced the rollout of the Windows Phone 7 Mango update, offering additional functionality including multi-tasking and full IE9 browser support.
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