It seems to me that Microsoft ought to try to follow IBM's path. They should accept the world that they live in -- a world with multiple vendors, and open standards -- and be the guys who own lots of really key assets, and who are really good at making things work well together.
First, they should accept Android and build a stack on top of that OS, rather than trying to push their own system. They have to be hard nosed enough to accept reality, and the reality is that a second rate locked down proprietary phone OS ain't going to win.
They should produce a value added stack that sits on top of android and that's targeted really squarely at corporate customers -- it should include sync and access to office docs, active directory integration, an incredible exchange client, etc. Pretty much everyone with a good job would buy that, because almost everyone lives in a microsoft universe at work. There should be apps that let you control your SQL server from your phone, that let you monitor servers, etc.
All of this stuff should be extensible and scriptable by anyone who wants to write code. They should be all about open scripting and glue between components.
On the consumer side it will be harder and more competitive, but they should probably be pushing a tight desktop integration stack there as well. They need to tie the desktop and the phone together using the cloud as glue. You should get your songs, your photos, your docs, your apps. You should be able to pull up your desktop via RDP and do anything you want, and there should be separate phone friendly GUIs to do the most useful things.
Almost none of the really awesome stuff we'll be able to do with these phones has been built yet. Microsoft is in an incredibly good position to build out huge chunks of it, because they're the guys who know the most about so much of what we want to reach back and talk to. They still own the legacy world, and that's a huge, huge advantage.
But it's like they're thining in 1993 terms, and they need to control the OS, and they're going to fight that pointless battle that they can't win anyway. They have to accept the new world -- an open platform that everyone shares -- and they have to leverage all of their assets to thrive in it.
I never would have thought I'd be in this place. I love linux. I want computers to be open. And now I really want Microsoft to stand up and push back against the closed Apple iPad model. I want them to come out really hard, and push something more open, and I want them to run ads explaining why Apple's way is a bad idea. And instead they just seem to be floundering.