It's part of their long-term strategy to get into the living room, which has been very successful. I know many people who have an Xbox for the sole purpose of accessing movie rentals, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and play an occasional game or two. Yes, there are devices (such as the Roku) that do this, but they don't play games.
I'm not saying Microsoft is full of geniuses or anything. They've definitely made a lot of dumb errors over the years. They are most definitely chasing Apple in terms of innovation in consumer market. But I'm also saying that it's a mis-characterization that they're just burning piles of money for no reason. I actually respect that they're at least trying to work on a long-term strategy rather than just trying to shore up their numbers for next quarter by cutting costs. You can't build long-term market dominance by worrying about what happens next quarter. If you try, you end up like US car companies in the 1980's. They're still digging themselves out of the hole they dug by their shortsightedness, and none of them would even exist if it weren't for government bailouts.
For all the grief that the Surface Pro has gotten, it's actually not a bad piece of hardware. I'm using one right now. The Surface RT is a steaming pile of dogshit, but the Pro makes an acceptable lightweight laptop that can also run touch-friendly apps. Nobody will buy a tablet that doesn't have any apps, and nobody will develop apps for a tablet that nobody owns. I don't use it for "Modern" apps very much, but Microsoft is trying to create a bridge between the desktop and the tablet. Windows 8 actually does this well, and paired with well-designed, reasonably powerful hardware, it's very usable, even for a power-user.