Anti-Android Apple acts as Ballmer's boot boy -

Microsoft will be the winner if Apple wins any of its copyright battles against Android.

At the moment Apple is being rightfully blasted as an evil copyright troll which is trying to stop competition using the courts. However, any success in the court room will do Microsoft a bigger favour.

According to Bloomberg, the ITC is about to make its ruling about whether or not HTC breached any of Apple's patents. Patent analyst Florian Muller pointed out in July  that a ban on Android means that manufacturers will be looking for smartphone operating systems that let them deliver the phones Americans want and that Apple doesn't want to build at the right sizes, shapes, and prices. Carriers will want something to rival Apple or else they will be shafted by a monopolistic minded Cupertino.

RIM is not an option, Symbian is dead, Bada's only chance is if Samsung open-sourced it. All that leaves at the moment is Windows Phone 7.

HTC, Samsung, and LG all already make Windows Phones and Nokia has had its first model, the Lumia, launched to great fanfare.

Vole's Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" is rather good, and while it does not have many apps, if Android were killed off developers would come.

Microsoft is suing Android manufacturers over patents and forcing settlements. At the moment its plan appears to be make money off of Android rather than killing it off. However, the licensing acts as discouragement to any Windows rival.

Apple is playing harder ball against the Android makers. However, if it wins, then Microsoft will see itself in direct competition with Apple and the mobile market will be a battle between the two.

Microsoft would love that, as would Apple. Having removed the Android wild card they could produce what they like and when they liked it. Users would be the only ones to suffer.