The money to be made from selling software to consumers is chump change, and to be quite frank, so is the money made from selling services to them, because it's almost a requirement to base the monetization of services on a freemium model. Until Microsoft develops an ad network as successful as Google's, Microsoft won't be able to make any money off the cheap bastards, which describes 90% of consumers. Until then, the real money has to come from selling hardware. Services merely serve as a way to keep people tied to an ecosystem and the hardware that can access those services.
IMO Microsoft is too late to the hardware party. iOS and Android devices dominate and are trusted by the masses. Windows devices are not taking off with the masses. So what do you do? Hobble your other revenue streams until the Windows & Devices divisions actually build something that the masses want?
Ironically, Microsoft more than ever needs Windows to succeed. The OS is what ties users to a specific brand of device. Before, when Microsoft was truly a software company and people were actually willing to pay for software, they could have created .NET for Linux and .NET for OSX and sold software to run on top of those frameworks. People are no longer willing to pay any real money for software--especially not on Android or iOS. 99 cents for an app? Hell yeah! $1.99 for an app? Why not? $49.99 for an app? Hell, effing no!
IMO the Windows brand is a tainted mess. They would have been better off going earlier to the market with Courier or something like it. The Microsoft brand is still great in many areas such as productivity software (Office), cloud computing and services (Azure), and gaming (XBox). In the case of Office I believe people are willing to pay a premium for and Office branded product that provides the same content creating power (though simplified for devices) that they know and trust. And maybe that's the differentiation here: consumption apps vs content creation -- the latter can charge a premium so long as it does more that recolor a photo.
Now that Microsoft's decided to be "device and services" company, they'd be slitting their own throats if they want to be software arms dealer. The only software that they should be producing for other platforms are titles that directly tie users into their services and HOPE that when it's time for a hardware upgrade, these users will consider a device that Microsoft themselves manufacture.
Why not build a better device/OS rather than lose sales and loyalty on your other products by locking those products into Windows?
A crutch for what? The copy of Office installed on a Windows machine sitting at home is already paid for. Providing RDP access from iOS or Android generates zero revenue for Microsoft and provides a disincentive for purchasing a new Windows RT-based tablet and/or replacing that machine with a new Windows 8/8.1 hybrid device that could serve double duty as both a tablet and desktop.
It maintains loyalty. Those that have iOS and Android tablets will have less of a reason to drop Office and find something that works with their hardware. The days of using Office as the leverage for keeping folks on Windows is over. Just look what the inclusion of Office did for Surface RT. [crickets]
Windows RT tablets don't run any desktop applications other than Office and tools that are part of the OS. RDP on Windows RT essentially allows you to use applications like Visual Studio, Photoshop, and [insert any Windows-based LOB application here] from a tablet.
And that's where the crutch comment comes in; The experience won't be nearly as good as the same app on a native Windows device. It's just to keep them loyal until native versions of Office for iOS and Android are release, Windows division be damned.