Cyanogen to build their own Android OS with help from Microsoft
I'd like to see Cyanogen succeed because the more competition there is in the smartphone market, the more companies will be pressured to develop new, useful features.

I bought my first smartphone last year. It's an Asus Zenfone. It works great, despite some quirks. I felt like with the Zenfone, the smartphone was beginning to take a quantum leap forward in features. Phones are getting a bit more memory, somewhat faster CPUs, a bit better screens, and improved cameras but you would expect all of these things. In terms of new and interesting features, it seems like we're in a mature market where we've all decided upon what it means for a device to be a smartphone.

Microsoft recently Offered support of $70 Million for a start, perhaps Cyanogen will bring some excitement back. At worst, they'll come up with some new ideas that Samsung can license or copy. I don't see a whole lot to distinguish current smartphones (except that Asus does not permanently glue batteries inside of its products).