Now that Microsoft is a "devices" company it kind of makes sense.
The whole approach is crazy. I've wrote about this already. I just don't see what the target audience of all this could be.
The only target audience I can think of is: People who like Apple products but.. don't like the company itself.
Think about it, you had three worlds in IT:
Free for all, but chaotic: Linux + FOSS Restricted walled-garden: Apple The middle road and ubiquitous: Microsoft (closed source, but pretty much no restrictions what you can do with the OS. You have [had?] also a ton of OEMs to chose from)
Now Microsoft is transforming into MicroApple, with the goal to have apparently the same modus operandi of Apple. What's the point?! Why not chose the original? The subpar sales of Surface and Windows Phone prove my point - there is no need for Apple II, the target audience for this approach is small.
What Microsoft should have done instead is concentrate on Android. Android had many weaknesses: It was buggy and laggy, it had also upgrade problems. Microsoft's dev tools are also better than Google's; they should have made Windows Phone as open as possible (allow sideloading etc.) and win over devs with the tooling. The UI should have been moddable too to a certain extend. That would make the system far more consumable for the current Windows users and devs, and enthusiasts. As far as I know, the iPhone is easier to jailbreak than WP, THAT'S NOT A GOOD THING! How was it possible that Android had better Exchange and Outlook synchronization than WP? UNEXCUSABLE (given that MS has the source code for both). WP8 still can't natively synchronize with Outlook - pushing the cloud is more important than winning customers I guess. That's one of Microsoft's core problems too now - pushing "hip things" without alternative, even if that means making customers angry, or even losing customers.
Apple itself is beleaguered by Android pretty heavily and losing market share. It can very well be that in the long run Apple finds itself in the same position to Android as it was to Windows in the 90s. Is Apple's position in the long run really that desirable? Ballmer is blinded by Apple's current profits (and "cool"-factor maybe).
Microsoft trying to be Apple to the letter is madness IMHO.