"apparently taking away a phone UI people love and replacing it with a desktop UI people don’t is regarded by the Head Shed at Redmond as some kind of strategic masterstroke"
Redmond is not the sole practitioner of this dumb practice. You can take most recent GUI designs for phone and desktop and look at the respective replacements offered by MS, Apple and the majority of Linux distros, and you are left wondering: WTF do GUI designers aim to do? So often the "new" approach is dumber, less usable and hides the stuff that made folk like something in the first place.
Bah, a pox on them all!