In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International the US Supreme Court ruled:
merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform [an] abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.
Recently, after its SCO fiasco, Microsoft's biggest gun in its ceaseless war on Linux and all things FOSS has been patent extortion. IIRC, Microsoft makes a sizable chuck of change from Android devices due to the licenses for a fuzzy bunch of patents that have never been tested for validity in a court of law.
At some point, someone with deep enough pockets to risk a spin on the roulette wheel that is the US court system in regard to patents will take on Microsoft and see if the Emperor is wearing clothes or not. Microsoft owns some very smart lawyers. The lawyers know such a challenge is inevitable. They also know there is a good chance Microsoft will lose and will have to shut down its patent extortion racket. At that point they will need a plan B. This is their baby steps towards a plan B which is way too little, way too late.