"a) there are many programmers today who are comfortable with the .NET model and the supporting tools are rather mature and capable"
That's a fine observation, but there are also many more programmers today who are comfortable with the C/C++ model and the supporting tools are even more mature and capable.
"b) you won't be able to crash the device with your buggy code since you won't be working at the memory level directly, etc... "
That's a weak argument, Windows CE has always been a pre-emptively multitasking OS. user-mode applications
cannot crash the device. If a native application dereferences a null pointer it will crash just as well as it would on desktop Windows, but the system will continue running happilly enough. Removing pointer arithmetic doesn't stop programs from crashing.
"c) we're trying to make programming apps on WP7 more accessible to lower-skilled developers/hobbyists, rather than focusing primarily on the professional and highly-skilled engineers"
For the very golden nuggets you'll find by adopting that policy you'll have to wade through a huge amount of
really awful applications with no conceivable utility. I hypotheise that Microsoft has already effectively doomed the Marketplace by not adopting minimum quality standards. I thought Windows Phone 7 was about creating a first-class mobile experience
unlike the hodgepodge of Windows Mobile, but by lowering standards like this you're only bringing us back to those awful programs spamming PocketGear et al.
I'll also like to remind everyone that Microsoft has never won a D&AD award, yet their competitors have. Go figure.
"WP7 will be the best PC phone Microsoft has ever released. We're navigating through uncharted waters as far as we're concerned: WP7 aims to employ simplified experience from the app model to the UI.... In some sense, this is not our typical behavior, so
I am happy we're breaking out of our comfortable straightjacket and taking a chance here."
Contradiction there. A "PC" lets you do what you want to do with it, free of any first-party control, if you wanted that then you went with Nintendo. WP7 is worse than Apple in this regard, and no-one considers the iPhone a "PC phone". WP7 devices are halfway
between Smartphone and Feature Phone.
"I am a big fan of native code, as is Microsoft, of course. Not supporting it as a platform tool for building WP7 apps doesn't mean WP7 isn't useful for pro developers... The number of scenarios that are possible to write with .NET (SL/XNA) are
many, not few."
I never said that .NET had "few" scenarios, just that the more adventurous and innovative "out of the box" applications are only really possible with native code given the state of the entire developer ecosystem right now (e.g.... again, OpenCV).