I think they’re already trying to do what I think is their best option. Focus on the best and broadest range of tools for developers to make apps for the platform, this is key to laying ground work to compete in a very steep market place. If they can please their developers, it will gradually have a knock on effect to pleasing their consumers.
Of course, the difficulty here is, without market share they can’t always grab the attention of developers, since they don’t see a lot of money coming from the time invested. But, by reducing that time through things like the iOS bridge it will lead to popular existing apps arriving on the windows store. It does mean that many of the apps may be half baked, but it’s better than nothing.
Even though it will be a LONG time before the ‘app gap’ is non-existent, once the store gains more apps to appeal to consumers, then comes the time to create some fantastic devices with unique features to appeal to consumers. This is the pivotal moment for the Microsoft phone family, if they get this wrong then they have failed again.
They will definitely have to do something that sets itself apart from any iPhone or Android phone in order to get the attention of the general public. It also can’t just be a gimmick, it needs to be something that people will use every day and will make people feel like they can’t live without. Continuum is great, but not essential, a pen for writing is also a great option but has been done in devices such as the galaxy note, VR is very popular right now but it could just be a fad. So, what does that leave? Not a lot, although the team at Microsoft may have something in mind that goes beyond my way of thinking. If not, they just need to make the OS the best it can be and ensure that their flagship device(s) have every great thing every other flagship on the market does and more.