Windows 8 has a public relations problem.
Or rather the Public just can't seem to relate "to it"
It seems rather obvious in hindsight but I think they should have done something just slightly more subtler and "Obvious" to the unconscious bystander.
Instead of "copying" everything around them, try "adopting" everything around them.
Windows is a great platform for code development and emulation, prototyping and educating people about the computer space and now the network space.
Essentially its history is one of "adoption" be that Seattle Computers "DOS" or the Xerox Parc, Desktop/Mouse metaphor.
Why then didn't they just "Emulate" the Windows Phone applications on the desktop as a "Widget" or gadget if they simply must trademark everything.
Linux has a grand tradition of "build it (the kernel) and they will come" so it scales from a lowly service handler at the Core of many server operating systems, to supporting the Xwindows or Gnome desktops .. and then to the microspace with BusyBox.
The java JVM seemed to recognize this and had Micro to J2EE editions and everything in between, JRE, JDT, ect..
Windows evolved from a DOS kernel into a multitasking kernel with a similar Window Manager.
Why then completely "reinvent the wheel" and try to re-task a Windows Manager as a cell phone Interface? How brain dead is that concept?
The "fear" that a Widget platform would not be "accepted by developers" is just plain silly.
Imagine a platform you could compile to.. that worked on your portable PDA? Wait.. PalmPilot already did that.. see it worked.
As for targeting the cell phone device specifically, first you have to get it in the hands of the user, then the developers will follow. And today that means, a free platform.
Microsoft should have released, even subsidized the cell phones that they have.. or even "shock an awe" come up with an API, not an OS that would allow Windows Widget apps to run on other operating systems, like Linux, Android, OSX, iOS. But like .NET a language with only one adopter is doomed to irrelevance. Mostly because it enriches on those few "licensed" and "exclusive" to the inner circle who are "allowed" to use it. That unfortunately is the worst of the damage Sun MicroSystems did to Microsoft.. and its ongoing.
There was a time when Microsoft was a "Languages" company, Basic, Assembly, C, C++ those are "like" API factories for getting libraries and their features in the hands of developers. And developers will pay good money for tools to make goods they can sell to their employers, customers, interested parties.
But somewhere along the way it got lost and bought into "we must own everything and control everything" and totally abandoned "innovation and collaboration".
Its profits aren't in its "possessions" but in its potentials and being at the center of change, just as the fortunes of Silcon Valley are built on "possibilities" and not fundamentals.