re: Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: The Bad
The Windows Phone OS is scarcely 18 months old and of course devices didn't come out right away. The partnership with Nokia is a little over a year old with devices hitting their stride within the past six months really. Microsoft seems to be targeting the enterprise as its beachhead, hoping to slide into RIM's spot.
In this context it's just too soon for so disruptive a break. I'm not saying that you can never orphan old devices; just that you can't do it cavalierly, particularly when you are looking for credibility in the enterprise. A smartphone isn't a mainframe but it's not a disposable razor either, especially for hundreds of employees.
NFC and micro-SD are nice to have, and flip to silence actually sounds like a fantastic innovation but none of them is critical to making a smartphone tick. Why can't Win 8 simply disable these functions if the hardware does not have them? That way you have one version of the software and everyone is in the current ecosystem running whatever apps its hardware allows.
Apple has perfected this and its non-disruptive upgrade path is no doubt one reason that it's been let into the enterprise.
You say that 7.8 offers an up upgrade path for users of Win 7 devices comparable to their having purchased a Win 8 device. Not so. 7.8 apparently won't have the full new interface; it surely won't run the newer apps, all of which will surely be designed for Win 8. And 7.x is now a train to nowhere.
Who would buy the lovely Lumia 900 now? Not I, said the wolf. How does this support partner Nokia? With no other partners truly invested in the future of this OS, how does that play out?