@vesuvius: Just because a language is not supported in the future doesn't mean that the software you wrote for them will automatically stop working. They are paying for a product. You deliver them a product. You make no guarantees that that product will last forever. That is like saying that I paid a lot of money for Photoshop 1.0. It should always work no matter what the future holds. That just isn't realistic. I wrote software in C++ 17 years ago that will still run even though it was using old tools and an old version of the language.
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 can run Visual Studio 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2010 all side by side to support old applications if I wish. You may not develop new applications using technology you know will be coming to an end, but that doesn't stop you from maintaining your existing applications for your customers. I think it is just silly to say that Microsoft keeps changing directions every 2-3 years. It reallys hasn't changed direction since 2002 (almost a decade) when .NET came out. It has slowly evolved into more powerful development tools. That is all that is happening today.
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 find it funny that people start complaining because Microsoft was so slow to keep up with changing techology (like staying with IE6 for so long). They were getting left behind and are suffering the consequences of that. Now they are trying to be more responsive to the changing technology landscape and people are complaining that they are moving too fast.
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