Does Windows 8 Represent The Last Gasp Of the Personal Computing Horse & Buggy Era?

The Mac Observer’s John Martellaro notes that the saga of Windows 8 continued last week with a gloomy outlook for traditional PCs, with more cuts in analyst forecasts for Microsoft’s growth in 2013. Martellaro maintains that PCs are in trouble, with customers bolting to svelte, light pure tablets, while Microsoft has just announced how power hungry and expensive its forthcoming Surface Pro tablet will be.

Martellaro recaps how Microsoft ignored what happened to Apple when it tried to push some iOS-ification agenda down the throats of its users, observing that Windows 8, is fully ossified with the result that Windows 8 is euphemistically “off to an awkward start.”

After shipping Windows 8 tablet computer with a detachable keyboard) that doesn’t run x86 Windows binaries, Microsoft has announced that the Surface Pro, the real Microsoft tablet that does run legacy Windows software, will be more expensive than many full-featured PC laptops, and even the cheapest MacBooks, and offer have half the battery life of the “consumer” Surface RT. With 128 GB of storage and a keyboard, prospective Surface Pro buyers are looking at over US$1,100 plus even more more if you want MS Office.

Counterpoint: Why Microsoft’s Mobile Strategy is Correct

WinSuperSite’s Paul Thurrott disagrees that Microsoft is behind the times and on the wrong track. He acknowledges that Windows 8 off to an allegedly awkward start, but still thinks Microsoft’s overall strategy is sound, and notwithstanding John Martellaro’s horse and buggy analogy (see above item), that Windows 8’s double duty tasking as a desktop and mobile OS in order to preserve both the Windows legacy and MS Office actually makes sense with a legacy combined user base of well over a billion people. He maintains that being able to bring those people forward and create a new mobile platform in the same OS is arguably one of Microsoft’s technical greatest achievements, and says that when Microsoft moves from Metro + desktop to just Metro in the future, it should be remembered that the reason that even could happen is that Microsoft marketing focused on USB ports and x86 desktop applications first, stuff actual customers actually care about.

Thurrott admits there’s a lot of hand-wringing going on these days in the Microsoft camp, but contends that most of it is unnecessary and that none of the problems are unfixable.

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