Apple iPhone 4S
Apple iPhone 4S Reuters

Steve Jobs would have been proud of the unavoidable iPhone 4S collision with the Samsung Focus S. He famously called former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates unimaginative in the Walter Isaacson biography, 'Steve Jobs.' Gates probably didn't have anything to do with the Focus S, the newest and arguably finest device to wear the Microsoft operating system, so maybe that's why this new Samsung device has its sights set on Apple?

Focus S does cost $200 and comes with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display and 1.4GHz processor, so it sure sounds like the kind of phone that would compete with iPhone 4S. It's got a bigger screen, an eight megapixel camera and 16 gigabytes of on board storage, so the comparison to iPhone 4S is not totally out of place.

Additionally, because Focus S is running the Microsoft system, it can access the Xbox live service for the finest in mobile gaming. It's even a bit thinner than iPhone 4S. But can a phone no one's ever heard of running a system almost nobody is using really compete with iPhone 4S? No, but Apple has been the leader in smartphones for so long, every other company out there is gunning for them. In this case, the powerful pair of Samsung and Microsoft. Samsung already is the world's leading smartphone maker, and Microsoft is still working on their Windows Phone system because it's only been around for about a year.

Obviously, iPhone 4S has plenty to like about it. Siri, the digital assistant, wireless syncing, cloud storage and a stylish design with glass on the front and back. And then there are the apps. The more established App Store has a half-million apps, and the basically brand new Windows Phone Marketplace is tiny in comparison. If Microsoft is successful, more apps will come. It might never reach as many apps as the app store, but it doesn't have to, as long as the Marketplace can get the apps people want.

The Samsung Focus S loses this smartphone battle, but it almost went the distance with the champ. Not bad for a rookie.

Let us know in the comments if you think the Microsoft devices are doomed to always playing catch-up to Android and Apple.