Our small group has developed a few mobile apps, and we've done well enough on markets that don't have Apple's huge user base. Building a reasonably decent app for us have sold well when ported to Palm's market. Though now it's all but dead, the windows market will make a lot of people a lot of money before critical mass lands. Pushing prejudice aside, and not taking into consideration some groups already considerable investment in the marketing strategies and loyal customer base for the iOS platform (which is my personal favorite environment to build for), it's silly to call a company like microsoft too late to the game to make a business selling applications on.
Decent money is being made right now on the windows market place, even with a low usage base, and with the sheer mindshare they have of folks that are windows programmers not wanting to re-tool over to MacOS to write iOS apps is going to create a decent ecosystem of applications, which is what will truly drive the demand for their handsets.
I haven't sat down and wrote software personally for WinMo7, but I watched a guy on our team re-write a Android app that we have on the market in Visual studio in about 1/5 the time it took to write a similar application in XCode for Mac, and that was fumbling through C# and a new toolset. Overall to compare the development environment that Win7 programmers enjoy, you could almost call it penis envy.
Yeah, I know this is Slashdot, and I have invested MANY years into Linux/Java and more recently iOS/ObjC.. but I'm pretty shocked how nice it appears to work in Visual Studio, and more importantly how effective a decent programmer can be using the tools even with absolutely no experience working with it. If MS can get the handsets to the masses, they will I believe really give Apple a serious run for its money.
That said, automated reference counting (garbage collection) in iOS5 and the new Storyboard layout in xcode is a godsend for productivity. It's definitely going to bring ObjC to new higher levels of productivity for experienced iphone devs, and reduce the barrier to entry for new programmers wanting to pick it up and learn it. What an interesting time we live in! We're seeing the true benefit of competition reward us as engineers by giving us GREAT choices in platform development!
I would hate a world where Apple is running unchecked or being stuck with buggy android phones as the only platform of choice .. and we all know what life was like when MS was the only real game in town.
Long live competition! Let's hope all the major players do well and prosper.