Developers are key to Microsoft's efforts to gain a foothold in the apps market and create a cohesive Windows ecosystem. Its upcoming OS refreshes, code-named "Threshold," will strive for commonality across its three main platforms -- Xbox, Windows and Windows Phone -- making it easier for developers to work on apps that can flow easily from one screen to another.
Its been pretty clear to me for years that this is the direction Microsoft is going and it only makes sense. You've got a huge installed base in Windows & Xbox, so why not make it easier on yourself and merge the underlying platforms?
Plus, Apple proved you can take a desktop operating system, Mac OS X, shrink it down and put it on a phone, like it did with iOS. Microsoft has the playbook, it just needs to execute on it. With Windows 8, it seems like they pulled it off. Now they just need to get their customers to want to purchase it. I'm not suggesting there are no technical hurdles left on the platform (there are a lot), but the biggest problem they have now is that few customers have any real motivation to move to a player that is a far distant 3rd in the marketplace that is years behind its competition.