Preparing for the entry of Windows 7 Phone into the marketplace next week, Microsoft showed that it is more interested in protecting itself from the plethora of lawsuits in the smartphone market than taking an ideological stand against patent trolls. Microsoft this week licensed from a subsidiary of noted NPE Acacia Research a portfolio of patents which included smartphone patents from Palm and Palmsource.
Now, what does this mean for the smartphone wars? It may mean that the players may find it more useful to form strategic alliances with third parties who can help them. We may see more patent trolls making their money by licensing before suing rather than after.