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Microsoft and Dell sign patent licensing deal for Xbox consoles, Android, Chrome devices

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A new patent licensing agreement allows Microsoft and Dell to share and build upon each other's technology relating to Android and Chrome OS devices and Xbox systems, the companies announced today.

Under the agreement, Dell will pay Microsoft royalties on Android or Chrome-based device sales and "on consideration to Dell for a license for Xbox gaming consoles." It is not clear if the agreement relates to all generations of Xbox consoles and respective peripheral technology, such as the Kinect.

Alienware, a subsidiary of Dell that builds gaming machines with third party components, was announced as one of Valve's Steam Machine partners at CES 2014. The company revealed in January that it plans to launch its SteamOS gaming PC in September, priced competitively with the latest generation of consoles. Alienware stated at the time that it is still developing its Steam Machine design and iteration process.

Dell offers a range of Android-based tablets and smartphones and well as a Chromebook 11. With its own Windows Phone-operated mobile device range on third-party hardware, Microsoft acquired Nokia devices and services last September following a long partnership. The deal was worth $5 billion, along with an agreement to licence Nokia's patents for $2.17 billion, a total of 5.44 billion.

According to the announcement, the latest deal adds on to a nearly 30-year business relationship between Microsoft and Dell. Microsoft states that for many years it would rather partner with technology manufacturers and vendors to create licensing agreements, instead of litigation strategies.

"Our agreement with Dell shows what can be accomplished when companies share intellectual property," corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft Horacio Gutierrez said in a prepared statement.

"Today's announcement builds on our history of collaborating to bring new technologies to market. The relationship between Dell and Microsoft continues to help Dell deliver choice and flexibility to customers looking for the best technology to meet their needs," vice president of Dell end user computing products Neil Hand said in a statement.