Android isn’t free and Google is going to face a lot of legal problems, if one Microsoft exec is to be believed. Tivanka Ellawala, CFO of the Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft, indicated yesterday that some patents have been violated.
At the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference, Ellawala stated according to Kurt Mackie, "[Android] does infringe on a bunch of patents and there are costs associated with that."
What’s more, the CFO believes lots of other organizations could make similar arguments. Ellawala continued, "And this is not just an issue for us. It may also be an issue as some companies have already stated. So there is an upfront fee cost associated with Android that, I think, doesn’t make it free."
Now, it’s possible Ellawala’s comments represent a scare tactic to some degree, since he was at the conference to promote Windows Phone 7. And hinting at complaints involving nameless corporations isn’t the same as announcing a round of lawsuits.
Still, being threatened by a rival with a market cap of around $220 billion isn’t likely to brighten Google’s week, and people who were on the fence about Android may take notice.
We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any signs that actual lawyers are getting involved.