CLUTCHING AT STRAWS, Microsoft has said that Google's open source operating system is not free as Windows Mobile sales get overtaken by Android.
Executives at the Vole's lair outside Seattle must be quaking their boots. While Microsoft is still holding out on the release of Windows Phone 7, the world has moved on to Android based smartphones. This has seen handsets running Android jump over those running Microsoft's Windows Mobile in the US smartphone market, according to Comscore's latest results.
For the first time in a long time, anticipation of a Microsoft product release is actually high, given the positive appraisals Windows Phone 7 demos received earlier this year. But is it going to be too little, too late for the Vole.
Google has hit the number three spot in the smartphone sales figures with Android and is narrowly behind Apple and RIM. Comscore took the averages of results in the US during the three month period ending July 2010 compared to the preceding three-month averages.
So how has Microsoft reacted to the news that Google's Android is outperforming its mobile software sales? By randomly lashing out, despite being defanged and declawed, to suggest that Android can't be free because of alleged patent infringements.
As Marketwatch noted yesterday, a Microsoft financial officer, Tivanka Ellawala responsed to questions about open source models. Ellawala was asked if open source models created problems for vendors with licensed software.
"It does infringe on a bunch of patents, and there's a cost associated with that," Ellawala said. "So there's a... cost associated with Android that doesn't make it free."
While Google will have to answer allegations about patent infringements in Android, that doesn't mean open source isn't free. It's like saying that everything always costs something therefore nothing is ever really free.
Microsoft should try telling that to the millions of people who are already using Android smartphones. µ