Samsung out to boost software to fight rivals

S. KOREA - Samsung Electronics' latest decision to cement a cross-licensing deal with Microsoft and jointly develop a new operating system with Intel was interpreted as a move designed to strengthen the company's software competitiveness and keep rivals at bay.

Industry watchers on Thursday said the contracts were significant in several aspects considering that electronics makers face an uphill challenge as they are pushed to develop both their hardware and software to stay in the race against daunting rivals.

On the one hand, Samsung will be adding new software to its list of assets, while on the other, forging alliances for avoiding time-consuming patent disputes.

"Rather than go through a complicated patent suit with Microsoft, (Samsung) made the right choice by wrapping up the deal at a reasonable price," said Lee Sun-tae, an analyst with Meritz Securities.