On the Surface not making money...
It is something that embodies the Microsoft vision for Windows, one platform three screens I believe. Microsoft needs to invest in the most exemplary of devices that fully embody this vision, if they don't, no one will. As was evidenced with the initial release of Surface RT based devices, there is a huge risk bringing these untested form factors to market, and the Asus, Acers and Lenovo's of this world just arent that interested in shouldering that risk
"Simply putting a crude, Tablet-like interface onto Windows"
This is obviously your bias writ large, given that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, why has Apple moved to the same design concepts initially implemented in Windows Phone? Surely they wouldn't be copying it if it was "crude"
"Without consumer services Microsoft would be smaller and more profitable, argue dissident shareholders – and, vitally, more focused."
In the gargantuan IT company game you don't get to play in one one sandpit, you have to play in all of them. Particularly with the consumerisation trend in IT, the employee is choosing the tools, platforms and devices that they want, not the Enterprise IT department. Look at how many iPad's are used in business with Apple having some sort allergy to enterprise...guess who is making the purchase decision. You can't isolate yourself as an Enterprise only vendor. IBM, Oracle, SAP, etc make money sure, but their profits are nowhere near that of companies that dominate the consumer space.
"Lumia today is simply more expensive than most Indian consumers can afford"
WinPho runs on lower specs than Android - Symbian is EOL, S40 is as good as selling a toaster, you cant attach services to it.
"Xbox doesn’t have an innovative TV studio" It doesnt need one, one can still watch House of cards on X-Box video, sure Netflix is giving the studio thing a go, its by no means a proven model.
"They’re already choosing $30 Androids over $90 Lumias, and will become much harder to woo back."
Again WinPho has lower requirements than Android. No reason it cant run on those same $30 phones.
"Are Microsoft devices a profit centre, or just a showcase? " It is something that embodies the Microsoft vision for Windows, one platform three screens, call it a showcase if you want.
"And the cuts have fallen hardest on the incoming Nokia devices unit." And so it should, they are getting rid of entire product lines, factories and management levels. Of course you are going to get massive culls after such a large acquisition, particularly when there are overlapping products & services
"In his first 60 days Nadella had picked up lots of kudos for decisions made by his predecessor."
Who's to say that Steve B was going to release Office for iPad? You do know that companies often port their products to different platforms in skunkworks but never release them? Solaris for Itanium & Windows for SPARC come to mind. Nadella has a proven track record of supporting non MS platforms from his time in Server and Tools, there is a reason why SCOM supports just about any platform you want (Solaris, AiX, Linux) and I remember how my draw dropped back when it was released.