TLDR: Microsoft cannot take a hiatus from the consumer market or they will lose in all sectors.
Holy man! hahah. That is years of built up frustration.
First of all, yes windows 10 is not finished. You are arguing with Satya who said it will take 2 years to finish windows 10 and it will act as a service. The initial windows 10 release integrated the new UI and got the servicing model in place to be able to update it easily on the fly. The first real step was merging the core and adding any features planned. This project is not a new OS it's a new OS being built on top of another by migrating things over. This is the best way to allow the public to get it early in order to build momentum and user base but try maintain stability while building it out. Year 1 is the anniversary update and redstone 2 is supposed to be the final complete migration if it doesn't get delayed. But sounds like it could get delayed to Redstone 3. Even moving the control panel over, file explorer and all that stuff. But the base code/apis and all that have to be in a finished state where any changes will not force devs to change things just to maintain stability or performance. When finished api changes will simply fix issues or add new features to use or not use. Once it's finished like all OS's you keep getting new security/bug fixes and all that. But then new versions will add/upgrade new features not just simply move a feature over to the new UI.
And you know what makes me roll my eyes the most? When people complain that all this time has been passing and the mobile version still has problems, still missing features, etc. Well I don't know if anyone has been paying attention. MS said they will not be focusing on mobile. They are planning to add more mobile focus for redstone 2/3.
See MS had a neat model. It rose to the top through OEMs and not their own hardware. And then once OEMs had enough share they were able to add their own hardware. This way MS wasn't directly competing against these top players, and they had enough shares and usage to be known as good brands in the PC world. In the mobile world MS did the opposite by becoming the first and most recognized brand for windows phones. OEMs now have a big issue because MS controls the software so the assumption is the hardware/software combo will always be better than the competition. You can't compete against that. People will always be waiting for the latest MS product. So they wanted to destroy that association and let OEMs have time to start getting a foot in the door. The problem is that it didn't work out so well for them so they stopped putting as much effort into the mobile software. Well there's only so much hardware can do. So the partners who are releasing windows mobile are stuck waiting on MS to get out of hibernation. HP sees potential so they do what they can with the software and they provide a nice solution for companies. And I'm sure that part of their deals promises updates. This sort of lets them roll out slowly to big companies and test themselves out in this market. Gaining experience for when the tech and the software can provide them more. MS makes it a point to mention their focus on enterprise so that consumers aren't waiting for them and deal with OEMs. My guess is that whartonbrooks is a company MS is working with closely because they need to let OEMs take shares in the consumer market before they enter at all. Even if they design the phones with them and work on the whole thing with them, it needs to be known it wasn't MS who did it.
MS doesn't need to be in the consumer market for hardware. It never was with PC/laptops/notebooks and somehow the consumer shares for windows is higher than mac who does do hardware for consumers. It just needs to develop software for consumers. And it does that. Windows 10 will always be for all audiences. Again feature parity between desktop/mobile will be really as close as it can be.
It just needs to inspire partnerships with OEMS and all parties must put as much effort into it as possible.
Heck even for apps a lot of developers are waiting for next year. And that's likely due to windows 10 not being finished. I honestly see all these complaints in ratings/reviews for apps where it is likely the operating system doing it and sometimes you see these exact bugs being mentioned in changelogs when a new release comes. It's not good for developers as a lot of people will never update these ratings once everything is fine. And with the small share in windows there isn't enough newcomers to raise your score once things are patched up.
Anyways, I see your frustrations with mobile. But honestly it's all these mistakes they made that helped create windows 10. An operating system so modular that it will conform to any hardware, doesn't require a complete rewrite every year to follow tech trends or gain users. And no the UI stuff was for your benefit in a way. It would allow apps to come to mobile while mobile market share is still low. If the apps on the mobile side showed high usage devs could make independent UI changes and put a little more effort into them. Also this would allow devs to port IOS apps a lot easier. The hamburger menu works much better on a PC with a mouse but can also work on mobile. So you publish your app to mobile as well no extra work needed. And again this stuff is constantly being tweaked as they work on windows 10 to see the best design to use. Windows maps is a pretty good example of this. MS first released a version that was similar on both PC and mobile. They tweaked both. And then after updated the mobile version to have a diff UI. That required extra work specifically for mobile.
Anyways, it's easy to point out someones failures and how you would have done things differently once it's already been done. But all these arm-chair CEOs on the internet think that they would solve the whole windows mobile crisis.
Honestly I haven't been around on windows long enough to experience all the frustration. In fact, I never knew what it was till I decided to try a cheap 520 i saw in a grocery store... yep a grocery store. And I did end up liking it. I have no frustration about the past because I like the current vision and I like my device for what it gives me. But honestly if I was in your shoes and all I could focus on was these mistakes and negative stuff, I would be back to ios or android. It's like your significant other breaks up with you and you live in misery because you have this small amount of hope that you guys may get back together hehehe.
For me the positive far outweigh the negative otherwise I would jump ship. And honestly with android nougat and ios 10 evolving, I'll take a good look at all the solutions available in 2017 with what fits me best. If Microsoft continues to be my #1 choice I'll go for them. I buy what fits my needs.