he press release reads like most of the others we’ve seen Microsoft ink with Foxconn, Acer, Samsung, or HTC. There’s a twist with Dell’s deal, however. Dell will, like other companies, be paying Microsoft royalties for Android and Chrome OS devices and they’ll get to freely share Android and Chrome OS patents with Microsoft. But Dell’s deal also specifies access to Xbox IP.
Perhaps they’re going to let Dell try building consoles. They’ve got 30 years of experience turning a profit on low-margin devices, and are obviously keen on big-screen gaming. Dell is already working on a Steam Box, but an Xbox console would be a good way to hedge their bets.
There’s the mythical Xbox tablet. Microsoft still hasn’t released one, and it’s been a while since we even heard any rumors about them working on it. Maybe now they’re considering letting Dell take the lead so that they can focus exclusively on the Surface tablets.