Or does it? Getting in bed with Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 has its own red flag. Microsoft may not own a smartphone manufacturer or compete directly in the market per se, but its alliance with Nokia is about as close as you can get with consummating the relationship. Microsoft has invested heavily in Nokia, and in return Nokia has essentially become Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 hardware arm--just without all of the financial and legal hurdles involved in making such a relationship official.
Where the rubber meets the road, there may be very little difference between Google-Motorola and Microsoft-Nokia from the vantage point of Samsung or HTC. However, Microsoft may still represent the better deal between the two.
As patent licensing fees and legal bills stack up, the cost of the "free" Android OS is quickly skyrocketing. Windows Phone 7 has licensing fees, but one of the perks of paying those licensing fees is that Microsoft also backs up its OS and guarantees that it is free from patent infringement issues. If any such challenge should arise, Microsoft will defend Windows Phone 7 rather than leaving the third-party partner to fend for itself.
Whether it was intentional or not, there is a good chance that Windows Phone 7 could be the biggest winner in the Google-Motorola deal.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.