Dell Venue 8 tablet

Microsoft's patent agreements with Android and Chrome OS device builders are usually one-sided: the manufacturers sign licensing deals, and Microsoft agrees not to sue them into oblivion. However, the crew in Redmond has just broken with that tradition by forging a cross-licensing pact with Dell. While Dell will still have to pay royalties whenever it sells Google-powered hardware, it's also licensing patents to Microsoft for use in Xbox consoles. Just what the deal means for gamers (if anything) isn't clear. It's safe to presume, though, that Dell can continue to sell Android tablets and Chromebooks without fear of a legal firestorm.