Here’s Nilay Patel from The Verge who can explain a little bit better than most about the whole Microsoft vs Surfast thing.
If you haven’t heard, Surfcast is a company that filed patents on ’tiles’ which can variably update with information. i.e. live tiles.
These live tiles haven’t been on any Surfcast product but they have been in Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 (series) products since 2010 (was it announced a year before that?). Oddly Surfast didn’t try to defend their rights until a more perfect time to attack – when Microsoft is fully baked in the whole tile thing with Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 (and perhaps Xbox and other products to an extent). It presents a bigger pot of money to attack rather than MS’s early (and tiny) partners.
Nilay reckons MS will reach a settlement soon. They better do for Nokia’s sake. At least on the upside it is MS direct and not their partners in the firing line (like Apple vs Google via HTC/Samsung). The whole WP licensing thing aims to ‘protect’ partners though right?
Cheers everyone for the tip!