Even if a few manufacturers feel sufficiently spurned by Google to get closer to Microsoft, they’re unlikely to abandon the leading smartphone platform outright. Leaving the platform open to other manufacturers gives Google some antitrust cover. If Google-branded hardware doesn’t take off, all of its partners threaten to bolt, or the DOJ steps in, Google can strip what it needs from Motorola and spin off or resell the rest for change.
By buying Motorola, Google just negated the one advantage Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia may have given them over Android. RIM continues to slide. It’s Apple versus Google from here to the finish; one versus many.