To be fair and based on facts, Microsoft remains as one of the world’s valuable brands only behind Apple; and #4 in market value only behind Google, Apple and IBM. Sure Microsoft can never be a Nokia brand because at the end of the day, they are two different brands. It’s not about "killing" the Nokia brand, because again, Microsoft only bought the smartphone division from Nokia. Nokia on the other hand, remains intact focusing on HERE, technologies and mobile solutions. Letting go of the "Nokia" branding was foreseen ever since the deal with Microsoft, there’s no argument there.
Yes, you can always try to use competing OS, there’s no one stopping you. And hopefully, you’ll be able to compare and contrast using all of them because believe me, I’ve tried and owns a Samsung running Android, I do own an iPhone/iPod and of course my Lumia 1020 — suffice to say, you can see the difference. What’s lacking on the Windows (Phone) ecosystem is the app but I don’t need a thousand apps to light up my phone or to check the weather on my city. I only need "essential" apps and I guess, those are are already on Windows (Phone).
Point is, when will people understand that it’s only a change of a brand name? It’s the same hard-working people that’s working on your beloved Lumia devices. Change is constant and I guess it’s about time for everyone to embrace it and move on.
And no, they aren’t just a software company. A simple Bing search would erase your thinking that Microsoft is not "just" a software company.
And lastly, you can never can tell the fate of Microsoft. Few years back, Apple is close on filing bankruptcy; Android on the other hand, was far behind the competition back then but look at where they are right now.