Hats off to Sendo. When it launched its legal action against Microsoft alleging a litany of dirty tricks and foul deeds in 2002, the UK's only mobile phone maker risked disaster. Not many companies down the years have stepped into the ring with Microsoft and made it out again in one piece. The EU is discovering just how tricky it is to secure a win against the software giant, even if you're the judge and the jury.
Reaching a settlement in which Microsoft agrees to hand back the 4 percent of Sendo it owned and, rumour has it, millions of dollars too, is definitely a victory.
With Sendo making big losses, it had to get the case wrapped up quickly, despite Microsoft's efforts to drag things out. The crucial battle in Sendo vs Microsoft was last October, when a US judge rejected Microsoft's attempts to get the case moved to Washington state -- where the wheels of justice move with the speed of tectonic plates -- and let it proceed in Texas, where things happen fast.
Sendo now has one advantage. Like the new boy who takes on the school bully and walks away with as much blood on his fists as his shirt, the company has proved it can punch far above its weight. It's a skill that will come in handy in an industry dominated by big boys like Nokia.
Now comes the tough part. With the law suit out of the way, Microsoft can now push its Smartphone software without the threat of a court defeat. Sendo has the daunting task of doing a better job than anyone else building phones based on Symbian and Nokia's Series 60 platform. It managed to get the Sendo X out the door in the midst of its legal distractions, but many more great products will be needed if it is to recapture the momentum it had before it was derailed by the lawsuit with Microsoft.