Microsoft partners with NEC in patent deal

May 24, 2006
People walking past a giant Microsoft logo

Microsoft solidified its position as the world's biggest software manufacturer Wednesday as it announced a tie-up with Japanese computer giant NEC.

Through the agreement, the two companies will be able to share patents that will allow them to expand their networking and server systems to include technologies for Internet telephony and other high-end applications. Specifically, corporate-targeted hardware from NEC, including servers and routers, will be combined with communication and business software from Microsoft.

The two companies have been collaborating on PC development since 1979, and on servers since 1993, but under the latest deal they will have a cross-licensing agreement that is expected to improve and speed up the process of developing new technologies.

"This stepped-up cooperation will give us an impetus to expand our market not only in Japan but globally," said NEC President Kaoru Yano at a Tokyo news conference to announce the deal.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, who also took part in the briefing, said, "This cross-licensing agreement would facilitate detailed cooperation which is on an engineer to engineer basis. ... This cooperation is essential."

"Over 20 years, we have changed the world very positively in Japan and elsewhere. ... We look forward to what we can do with their great technology in the future," Ballmer added.

NEC Executive Vice President Kazuhiko Kobayashi pointed out that the patent agreement will get rid of much of the legal red tape that might hamper technological development.

"If we have to worry about patents, development will not be done in a smooth manner, so in order to achieve our goals quickly we need this agreement," he said.

In addition, NEC will help market Microsoft's Vista software when it goes on the market early next year as the latest edition of the company's blockbusting Windows application.

NEC outlined five major sectors that the two companies will be working together in, namely in developing enterprise networking, particularly in Voice over Internet Protocol and video; building higher-performance servers; allowing higher-speed transfer of large volumes of data; network integration cross-licensing; and collaborating in developing the Japanese market.

But while the deal may be a breakthrough for Japan's third-largest electronics manufacturer, Microsoft had actually signed a similar agreement with Toshiba, the country's No. 2 maker of electronic goods, as well as German giant Siemens. Moreover, Microsoft made clear that its agreement with NEC is not exclusive to the company, opening the door for having similar alliances with other electronics manufacturers.

NEC said, however, that its strengthened ties with Microsoft will fortify its operations overseas, particularly in Europe.

"In joint developments with Unisys and Stratus, NEC develops and globally delivers competitive products with the support of Microsoft," the company said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Amazon unveils move in local services

Related Stories

AMD sues Intel over monopoly abuses

Jun 28, 2005

AMD announced today that it filed an antitrust complaint against Intel Corporation yesterday in U.S. federal district court for the district of Delaware under Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, Sections 4 and 16 of the ...

Wireless USB Specification Now Open to Public

May 27, 2005

The Wireless USB Promoter Group today announced the completion of the Wireless USB specification. The specification will now transition to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) to undertake certification, compliance testing, ...

Recommended for you

Amazon unveils move in local services

2 hours ago

US online giant Amazon said Monday it was launching a services marketplace offering to connect consumers with businesses offering anything from home improvement to piano lessons.

Intel in talks with Altera on tie-up

Mar 27, 2015

US tech giant Intel is in talks with rival Altera on a tie-up to broaden the chipmaker's product line amid growth in Internet-connected devices, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Apple chief Cook to give his wealth away: Fortune

Mar 27, 2015

Apple chief Tim Cook is joining Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and other technology titans who have vowed to donate their wealth to charities, according to a report in Fortune magazine.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.