The pioneer of Internet service provider to million households in America during the early 1990s and the maker of email system with its popular moniker “You’ve Got Mail” AOL Inc. announced that they have sold more than 800 patents to Bing’s parent company. The price tag for the deal is $1.056 billion in cash. Both companies expected the deal to close by the end of 2012. While AOL will let go 800 patents, the company will still keep over 300 patents related advertising, search, content generation and management, social networking, and others.
According to Peter Kafka of AllThingsD, the new addition of hundreds of patents to Microsoft’s existing portfolio is related to Internet browsing technology, mostly from AOL’s subsidiary Netscape. The last browser known as Netscape Navigator 9 was released by AOL in October 2007, but not many users downloaded the software as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer controlled about 80% of the browser market at that time. AOL announced to quit browser business during the last week of December 2007. Later, AOL announced that February 1, 2008 was the last day the company will support the browser.
Several tech bloggers believe that Bing’s parent beat out its rival Google in the auction. Google has strong interest in the 800 patents as its bowser Chrome is also picking up market share from competitors including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and others.