Smartphones today are all pretty good – but they lack the kind of differentiation or wow! feature, that gets them talked about in pubs. The view that the size of the ecosystem is the only decisive factor in a purchasing decision is vulnerable.
It can be disproved by a hardware manufacturer that can incorporate features that do make a demonstrable difference. A camera that doesn’t shake, and a camera that takes great pictures in the dark, for example. Thanks to Nokia, Windows Phone will soon have such features.
And thinking rigidly and dogmatically about the shape of the market can lead pundits to overlook some other subtle dynamics. For example, as Apple diversifies its product line, it gives people another reason to ditch their smartphone while remaining a loyal part of the Apple ecosystem. Why not get an iPad or an iPod Touch for your games and apps, and choose another platform for your main phone?
In short, it’s all to play for. Which doesn't mean it's a shoe in. I'm extremely skeptical that ramming MetroNotro into the Windows 8 desktop will increase the public's affections for Windows Phone. As many commenters at El Reg point out, it could make punters yell "yuch!" to both.