As you may know, Microsoft succeeded in convincing certain mobile manufacturers, such as HTC, that their best means of avoiding possible law suits for using Android was to agree to pay rights for its use. Thus, HTC gives to Microsoft 55 in exchange of abandonment of any law suit on the possible violation of patents (no legal decision confirms these violations).
Microsoft announced to have signed an similar agreement (of which the amount is not known) with Acer and ViewSonic. Adding the fact that Microsoft is still in negotiation with Samsung, this is a true revenue that the company touches for an operating system that it did not develop.
We suppose that this agreement has a second secret clausein which these manufacturers also commit themselves to release at the appropriate time a device that runs under Windows 8 Mobile, to ensure a good start up that otherwise would be difficult with only Nokia convinced to blow some billions to hang to this dubious engine.
By crispin, original by Lionel