Microsoft has been pretty shameless and unapologetic about licensing patents to Android manufacturers, for an OS they didn't make or own. Of course, they would have you believe like they did have an impact on making Android, but who actually believes that? Does anyone actually think Google tried to somehow reverse engineer and copy Microsoft's technologies so they can put them in Android?
The patent language is so vague, that it's hard to believe what a patent from 15 years ago can cover. Patents also get too easily through the Patent Office after they are filed, if only they follow some broad guidelines. Proof of this is that Apple has had most of their patents invalidated in Courts (although they still won with a few), and the recent 3 patents invalidated by ITC in a case versus Motorola. The same goes for Microsoft who lost 6 out of 7 patents against Motorola, and they stand to lose even more against their fight with B&N.
The fact that these patents get so easily invalidated proves that the patent system allows for many abuses, abuses that a patent troll, or a company like Microsoft is very happy to take advantage of, as long as it hurts their competitor. Microsoft has licensed about 70% of the Android phones in US by the time they introduced LG into their "license program", and they now stand to get Pantech, the 3rd largest phone manufacturer in South Korea, to do the same.
It's disappointing to see so many companies drop one after another and not fight Microsoft like Motorola and B&N do, because they, too, could win against Microsoft, and not be forced to pay for a bunch of useless patents almost as much as they ask for a whole WP7 license. If HTC or at least Samsung wouldn't have accepted to pay them, it would've been much harder for Microsoft to convince all the other companies. But after they did, they simply started falling like domino pieces, and that was exactly Microsoft's strategy in all this. For all we know, this patent deal may have even been beneficial for HTC and Samsung, if Microsoft gives them discounts to something else, just to get them on the "list", but not so beneficial for everyone else.
Fortunately, there is some hope coming from China, where companies like Huawei, ZTE, and others, have gathered together to fight against Microsoft. It's possible that it's only a matter of time between these companies start invalidating more of Microsoft's patents, and then more companies start fighting against them once they get the courage to do so. Maybe one day soon even Google will join them in directly suing Microsoft.