If you read Tim Sneaths blog, they said their were taking a heavy bet on WPF as a platform, as it is the whole of WPF is crippled with a performance bug, and lacks a lot of features that were promised the language from Microsoft indicated they would invest in it for quite some time, even moving Visual Studio to it, that was what made a lot of people think it was a safe bet.
I have never said that Microsoft was infallible. I personally never used WPF because I didn't feel it was the right tool for the jobs that I was working on (I have used Silverlight though). Even if I did use it for my projects, they would continue to work even after Microsoft stopped supporting it. I would also be able to maintain the code by using the tools they were built in. Future technology does not make someone's choice of using WPF a bad decision because it still achieved their goal.
I am not quite sure we are living in the same universe, Winforms and WPF and Silverlight are all client focused frameworks, where they have changed direction in their client frameworks. Are you suggesting these are all the same and aligned with WinRT?
I think what we are seeing is the beginning of unifying a lot of seperate technologies into a single framework. Instead of having to decide between 3 or 4 different technologies you will now have a one-stop-shop that will be able to handle all of the different scenarios. I will admit though that I haven't researched too much on WinRT. I tend to wait until things hit public beta before I spend too much time with it.
I think you are dreaming again there - possibly a deep sleep. They are playing catch up, big time, both in tablets and phones. The key is in your wording i.e. responsive and not proactive. Microsoft could have created an iOS or Phone ages ago, they have always had products in these markets, but lacked the vision and cohesion to ignite the markets
If I were to make a prediction about the future, I would say that the web is going to take on a more app based approach and less of a web page based approach. Similar to how phones and tablets are working now. If this proves to be true, then ditching the old web page approach and moving to an app approach does seem proactive to me. I feel that the wild west days of the internet are numbered. I think people like more content focused apps instead of having to search endlessly trying to find what they are looking for. I am sure a lot of people (especially techie people) will disagree, but seeing the explosive growth of smartphones and tablets proves people want that.