Bill Gates would be the first to point out all the cases where Microsoft’s competitors made a key mistake that let Microsoft succeed. Office is perhaps the most notable example, where competitors’ reluctance to support Microsoft Windows took Word and Excel from second-tier status to leadership as customers shifted from DOS to Windows. Xbox 360 triumphed over the PS/3 because Sony created a platform that was both late to the market and too hard to develop for. Borland started a price war that Microsoft was better positioned to endure. Etc. That is why Microsoft historically keeps the pressure up even when its cause looks hopeless. One could probably apply this to both the Windows Phone and Bing efforts in today’s world.
If OEMs have to pay both Microsoft and Apple patent royalties then Android could be more expensive than Windows Phone. Google may remove popular (and expected by consumers) features from Android to avoid it or its OEMs paying Apple royalties, but that will diminish Android’s competitiveness. So indeed Windows Phone has the potential to benefit from Apple’s win in this case.
OEMs and Carriers will no doubt hedge their bets by giving Windows Phone a little more prominence over the next 12 months while the dust settles. But I doubt the big players actually run away from Android. It’s up to Microsoft to take advantage of this disruption to Android’s trajectory. For example, by HEAVILY promoting Windows Phone 8 itself rather than leaving promotion completely up to the OEMs and Carriers. We’ll just have to wait and see if that’s what they do.