Microsoft (as well as any other corp out there) patents everything they can.
That's not true. Most non-software companies don't bother wasting the lawyer time and application fees necessary to get patents for ideas they will never pursue licensing for and will never be in a marketable product. It's just that in the world of software development, patents are a highly effective anticompetitive tool, and are thus worth far more to a company as a weapon against its competitors and customers than if they were used solely as a protective measure.

Score:3, Insightful