Microsoft, Samsung strike licensing deal

Under the deal, Samsung pays Microsoft a royalty for every Android phone and tablet it makes. Samsung also agreed to provide marketing support for Microsoft's Windows Phone.

The Omnia W, the first Samsung phone using Windows Phone Mango, will get more marketing support under this deal. Samsung

Microsoft and Samsung Electronics said today that they had struck a cross-licensing agreement, avoiding the potential litigation that has plagued most technology companies.

Under the deal, Samsung has agreed to pay Microsoft royalties for technology used in its Android-based tablets and handsets. In addition, the companies agreed to work together to further develop and market Windows Phone devices.

The deal represents a rare example of compromise in an industry where lawyers have been the preferred weapon. Over the past few years, Microsoft has been more aggressive in extracting licensing agreements with electronic manufacturers using any kind of smartphone technology. It previously struck a similar deal with HTC.

Perhaps just as important is the agreement to provide marketing and development support. While Samsung was an early supporter of the Windows Phone platform, most of its resources backed Google's Android software. The Galaxy S II, which runs on Android, is widely considered its flagship device.

Samsung recently unveiled the Omnia W, a mid-market Windows Phone, and the first Samsung device to run on the updated Mango variant of the software.

With the carriers only halfheartedly providing marketing support to Windows Phone, Microsoft needs as many allies as it can get.

"Microsoft and Samsung see the opportunity for dramatic growth in Windows Phone, and we're investing to make that a reality," Andy Lees, president of the Windows Phone division, said in a statement.

Samsung, meanwhile, can hardly afford another legal battle as it deals with multiple lawsuits and complaints around the world in its legal tussle with Apple.