Microsoft apparently holds patents that it claims are relevant to Chrome OS as well, but that is something Google is understandably challenging. In the meantime, Microsoft has made it position clear to OEMs that make all these gadgets.
Among them, Dell, who has just signed a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft. This is not just another one-way street though, since this also involves patents Dell owns and are relevant to the Xbox gaming consoles.
Dell has agreed to license intellectual property for Android and Chrome OS hardware it builds and sells while Microsoft has agreed to reciprocate for technology used in the Xbox. “Our agreement with Dell shows what can be accomplished when companies share intellectual property,” according to Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft.
This arrangement may have something to do with the possibility of Microsoft wanting to expand Xbox Live functionality into Android and iOS environments. An agreement such as this may dot the "i's" and cross the "t's."
-Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft
Dell, for its part, has dropped its Windows Phone plans for the time being, but continues to offer tablets and PCs running Windows. Dell also makes Venue tablets powered by Android in a variety of configurations.