Apple-Samsung verdict shows that Microsoft thinks different

If there's one peculiar conclusion from the hastily decided Apple-Samsung battle, it's that Microsoft is more innovative than the Android brands.

Microsoft screeenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Being different isn't always a good thing.

In a crushingly conformist world, if you stick out, then people will often stick their tongues out at you. Even when they praise you for being different at first, soon they'll decide this is all too uncomfortable.

This is surely part of what brought Samsung down in the Apple-Samsung patented grapplefest.

Samsung, in the jury's eyes, was silly enough to take products that had become cultural icons and, well, copy their icons.

This is something that one company expressly decided not to do. That company is Microsoft.

Though Redmond is sometimes derided for certain conventional, even dull ways (that's your new logo?), it gets less credit than it deserves for doing things that are definitively not like what anyone else has done. Kinect and Xbox come to mind.

As my colleagues Jessica Dolcourt and Roger Cheng suggest, the Apple-Samsung verdict could represent a considerable business gain for Microsoft.

But there's a surely an even greater reason for Microsofties to feel a gleeful glow.

Whether it gains great business success with Windows Phone or not, the company can look its employees (and especially potential employees) in the soul and tell them that it is genuinely attempting to create.

At a time when it's craving credibility with products like Surface, Microsoft wants to represent genuine competition to Apple's superior level of taste.

Rather than simply ceding the primacy of design to Apple, the company is attempting to prove that things can be done a different way and might even be great.

No one ever imagined it would be easy. But there's something quite symbolic about Android being represented by a little robot. In its little metal heart, the robot just wants to be human. It just wants to fit in. It just wants to be the same as everyone else out there.

Microsoft, on the other hand, suddenly wants to be the guy with one ear who wears orange trousers and a plaid cape.

It might be a mere dream, but wouldn't you rather work for a company that at least tries to create something that hasn't been seen before -- even if sometimes it doesn't work out -- than, say, spend your days at the tech equivalent of Forever 21?