Who says Windows Phone has to be killed? But for people to try it out Microsoft would again have to try to do something that will earn them a negative reputation, get Android apps because there is really no other way, developers don't really take this OS seriously.
This idea of 'getting Android apps' doesn't mean anything in practice. Either you switch to Android (via Google) and just join in on the Google Play Store, or you - via AOSP - try and attract Android developers. Given Microsoft's circumstances (i.e. services), it'll end up the AOSP route and we're back at square one, attracting developers and vendors to a your platform. It might be easier but it's no guarantee, Blackberry tried with the BB10, but it didn't turn up. In fact, Windows Phone did exponentially better attracting developers for new apps and games than BB10, despite not having any relation to Android.
And the more OEMs that join in, it's a double edged sword. What I mean is that before only a brand that was reputable "Nokia" was producing the majority of Windows Phones but now that you see more of them made by companies like Micromax(which has somewhat of a bad reputation in India) you'll start to see more fragmentation and Windows Phone won't be the same premium and optimized experience it used to be.
Microsoft released a reference design to these OEMs, so as to ensure that some level of consistency still exists. So the low-end Windows Phone, regardless of whether it's from Microsoft, Micromax, Karbonn, Huawei, etc, is going to be using the same core hardware, i.e. Snapdragon S200 and 512MB RAM. Now there may be variance in terms of build quality, features, etc, but these low-end OEMs are aiming for sub-$100 price points. Anyone buying a phone at such prices could care less about long-lasting quality.
Yes Windows Phone is the third largest but I don't think it'll ever go beyond that, no one does. It might establish itself as a sold third place OS but it's very unlikely that it'll go further.
Depends on the market. Windows Phone has reached 2nd place in a number of markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and potentially even Africa. As we're seeing in India, there's been considerable local traction in terms of local apps, services and games behind Windows Phone, e.g. Indian banks or even that IAF game, among many others. Heck, Starbucks in Mexico and I believe Russia also released apps for WP.
In Pakistan you are right we have very few companies offering phones on contracts, we have to get phones off-contract via local stores which is sometimes more expensive. But I've seen that Nokia does some decent advertising here and Lumias will often be the only devices display in shops for people to use, but has that made an impact in sales? Nope, people still walk out with their fancy new iPhone or HTC One, or Galaxy S5 and so on...
Fair enough but you're pointing out the high-end market. To be fair to Windows Phone, it's inability to capture the high-end is pretty uniform throughout the world, the iPhone and Galaxy S-series dominate the high-end everywhere.
One of my cousins and me actually tried Windows Phone by purchasing a Lumia 520 in January, my cousin switched to a Note 3 just a few months later and I asked him why.
He replied by saying that the optimization of Windows Phone even on the low-end devices is amazing but the OS is not nearly as polished as it needs to be for me to cash out over $600 for it. He's actually right.
So he went from the lowest-end Windows Phone to one of the highest-end Androids? IF he didn't have $600 to spend, say only $150-200, would he choose a Lumia that he knows WILL work on lower-end hardware, or on Android which has a risk of giving him trouble (on low-end hardware) in the long-term?
And Microsoft can only do so much, it's offered programs to encourage developers and even asked them, it just doesn't work.
Not sure about you but Windows Phone definitely attracted quite a few developers and vendors across the world. Compare the Windows Phone app store of 2014 to the app store in 2013 or even 2012. Today we have an official Fitbit app with a couple of competitors with apps in the pipeline, for example (among many examples, e.g. Gameloft's massive games push).
Microsoft's only alternative is to go for Android apps, another thing that may kill Windows Phone.
So really the future of Windows Phone for Microsoft is really a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.
I don't want it dead but it's not thriving either and eating up a lot of resources and time of Microsoft.
But I do agree with one of your points, Windows Phone is the starting point of where people begin to start using Microsoft's services. Having switched back to Android myself I still use Outlook and OneDrive, both of which have amazing apps on the Google Play Store, in fact the Outloook app is even better the Windows Phone version.
But if Microsoft's services are available on other OSes, what's the point of really going for Windows Phone? Especially when the services provided on Android and iOS are often better than the ones on Windows Phone.
So you basically got used to Microsoft's services after your experience on Windows Phone...that's my point. It's because of WP putting Microsoft's services front and center that you got the necessary amount of exposure to be bothered to find those services on Android. How many people going to Android (without having first gone to WP) would do that? Not many, not unless some external force (e.g. a company or friend) put them in that situation.