Microsoft had an alliance with desktop/laptop makers which worked for all of them because they achieved volume, market dominance. Now Microsoft are striking a similar alliance with Nokia for handsets but Nokia are no fools: their leverage is Meego, they made sure to show it off first, and the message for Microsoft is clear: "We get to negotiate the price for installing Windows Phone on our devices." If this works out then in afew years we will probably see Windows Phone become dominant in the mobile market, with relatively cheap apps and devs readjusting their life stile for worse.
On a similar note, a similar trend exists on the Web front. Google sell Web services so they need to commoditize the devices/OS that provide access to these services, hence the "free" Android OS (sorry, no source lately, competitors cannot take a peek anymore). All those Asian device makers fight for market dominance but all they will achieve is give Google what they need.