Microsoft has signed a deal with Canon that cross-licenses a lot of their patents. This could mean future Microsoft Nokia Lumia handsets have the smart processing and optic power of Canon crammed into them.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 with its 41-megapixel camera was, and probably still is, the best camera phone ever made. The unique way it pushed technology forward makes it still attractive even now when all other phones from its generation are dated. This patent sharing deal could mean a future Lumia that uses Canon's impressive Digic processing power and more.

There is also a chance that Microsoft may decide to follow in the footsteps of Sony and add removable lenses to its mobiles. Imagine a full removable Canon lens strapped to your mobile that has Canon processing onboard.

The other outcome is that Canon uses Microsoft's patents to change its user interface, perhaps integrating some from of Windows Phone into its cameras.

Either way it's great to see companies sharing patents to help push technological developments forward. Rather than fighting over them and slowing progress down for everyone.