It’s a loaded question I’ll admit. Vague and highly interprative. What I see is a glaring yes but in a strange way. No company goes through more legal minutia than Microsoft. Their legal team is so bad-ass that back in the day when they took on the US Government over bundled software issues, they settled making all the consumer watchdog wannabe politicians think they had won by splitting their company. What really happened is now we all pay 150.00$ for Microsoft software that used to come bundled with the OS. It’s the sort of sadistic legal end game that gives Steve Job’s wet dreams.
Anyway, when I say that I believe Microsoft was playing it safe I mean legally not financially. Everytime Microsoft tries to assert itself and leverage existing services they get sued all to hell by some anti-trust litigation because of all those big numbers DavidK and Murani have been throwing around the past couple of days. Microsoft goes through so many legal battles they give out their legal services to any hardware manufacturer licensing their OS, just to keep their boys in shape (and it makes their Operating System a lot more enticing when Google isn’t backing anybody up in the Android litigation.) I just can’t help but wonder if Microsoft is the sort of company with deep enough pockets to allow their mobile market share to slip, fostering some competition, which takes the heat off of Microsoft when they step their game up. Google wasn’t all green lights on their ad acquisitions until Apple bought their own company as well. I’m not saying that Microsoft hasn’t still f-ed up their market share more than I think is good for anyone because they basically put themselves out to pasture the past two years. I’m just pondering on the idea that Microsoft played the “Let’s wait and see what everyone likes from the two other huge companies doing this right now and then put out some crazy hybrid bridge between market shares that whoops ass like some sort of digital Bruce Lee/Chuck Norris monstrosity of unequivocal awesomeness” game. For more on this strategy see the Xbox.