In the recent legal battles between Samsung and Apple it may seem hard to know who has the upper hand with Samsung victorious in Japan and Apple victorious in the US. What is undoubtedly true is that the case itself will have far reaching consequences for the world of enterprise mobility and application development in general.
I would go further than that though and say that to me the unlikely but ultimate winner in the battle winner will not be Apple or Samsung but Microsoft!
The uncertainty caused by the constant legal battles and patent suits between the mobile giants, I believe, will create a vacuum in the world of Android which Microsoft will be only too happy to step up to fill. It seems to me the Samsung/Apple fight will rage on for some time and when they are done Apple will focus on the likes of Amazon giving Microsoft room to breathe and grow.
Many critics and fans have in the past discounted Microsoft from the world of mobility but I believe to count them out is a huge mistake. Do you really think Bill Gates and his team didn’t see mobility coming or that Microsoft would give in so easily? Not on your life!
What many people don’t realise is that until recently Microsoft were heavily constrained by the US governance which in turn prevented them from taking a cutting edge position in the world of mobility but which also allowed them to watch as their competitors made mistakes and paid the price for being first to the market.
It would be naive to think Microsoft have been doing nothing for the past 5 to 10 years around mobility, they have been quietly watching and waiting for the time to strike and the recent announcement of Surface may just be that time as that governance has also just been lifted.
Microsoft enter the market from a position of strength as the market leader in terms of enterprise application and already receiving hefty royalties from every Android phone sold, earning them $800 million in Q2 of this year alone, they are also working with Nokia to release new technology. Microsoft may just be a wolf in sheep’s clothing biding their time to ensure that when they attack they cause maximum damage.
Windows 8 could be that attack as the vision of running the same application on desktop, mobile and tablet could be very attractive to the enterprise market. Of course this is only a prediction but Microsoft could be the one to “win big” from all this litigation. What remains to be seen is can they deliver on all that promise?