Re: Windows Phone 8
Basically all of the things like native C++, Windows 8 core, multicore support are all tied into using Windows 8's kernel. The sole reason why it's so imperative to have this is for cross platform support. It would be one thing to just keep on the same path with their CE kernel and requiring developers to make separate Windows phone, Windows RT, and possibly Windows 8 versions of their apps. If that were the case I would bet that both Windows Phone and Windows RT would likely suffer. By moving all of these operating systems onto one common platform, this greatly increases the incentive to develop for Windows devices.
I would agree that the launch of WP7 is kind of in a really awkward position. It really was just a temporary stop gap to get from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone 8. However, other than users of the Lumia 900s I would wager aren't too worried at all about not having their phones supported. Most of the other phones on the market are due for upgrades by the time Windows Phone 8 is rolled out. I would guess that switching to Windows 8 kernel is going to be using a lot more resources than WP7 does, so the older devices would be able to run it smoothly.
MS is not really abandoning WP7 users as they already stated you'll get some of the upgrades. There will still be plenty of applications that can be built for WP7 and will work just fine on WP7 or WP8. The main thing is really opening up the door for full on gaming. Imaging running CryEngine or UE4 right on your phone to host the latest games. Using Windows 8 kernel with C++ support will let them do just that.
I have an HTC trophy and I can certainly tell you that this phone is a solid phone. It doesn't have the best camera, or the largest screen, but beyond that it is very fast, stable, and it can take a beating. I've already dropped this phone a few times and is perfectly functional. HTC will definitely be able to make a newer phone that has the better camera and larger screen which will be a strong competitor to ANY phone.