MSFT is taking a hard right turn, right for a cliff.
ARM processors are very well coded for, by a host of far-reaching, widely experienced software systems, of which MSFT has zero ability to compete with. MSFT typically needs three service packs to stabilize any offering that's ever been released by the company. Most corporations won't touch a MSFT product until at least SP1 is released, as that is generally viewed as the non-beta version.
The 12 year development window of MSFT doesn't bode well for their desire and direction in the ARM market, a fiercely competitive, and quickly changing market that's trounced AT&T, Qwest, and others. Little upstart cell phone companies like Cingular came along and kicked their asses, literally taking control of the market, and buying out AT&T.
The little companies are quick, viciously competitive, capable, and above all: talented. MSFT can't claim any of those titles. MSFT code is burdensome, huge, buggy, and prone to failure. Intel, MSFT's longest and best partner, and taken to publicly outing MSFT for failure to fix problems in all the Windows OS versions.
Intel isn't a nice company, but they know business, and despite anti-trust and even RICO problems with Intel, they know how to make chips. When they tell you to reduce the size of something to get it to run on their chip, you'd be an idiot to ignore the request. MSFT has ignored pleas from Intel for more than a decade now on streamlining the Windows bloated OS.
Even "CE", "7", and other specialized versions of the MSFT fleet of bloatware are huge when compared to the fast, not-crashing, and above all tiny software of competitors. RIM came along and trounced the phone industry, and spurned MSFT products as "useless." They based the Blackberry OS on a proprietary incarnation of Unix, and it still rocks. I use a "BB" and do not own an "iPhone." I love Apple, but the primary reasons for choosing RIM remain SECURITY, and COST. RIM's phone's don't leak data to third parties, don't crash, and above all - they don't delete what I've loaded on them. I don't have to pay RIM a fee to customize my phone "desktop" or play music. I can load my own music on the phone as ringtones without paying fees.
MSFT has about a snowball's chance in hell of catching up to RIM, let alone Android!
I don't applaud this because I hate MSFT, rather I applaud this because MSFT needs to experience a serious failure in revenue before it will ever change. In the PC market they colluded with Intel to prevent competition. Both were charged with crimes and convicted. Both Intel and MSFT are anti-trust violators. They CAN NOT function in a free market.
MSFT lacks the speed, agility, and programming talent required to take on either RIM or Google. The software from Redmond is decades behind Unix based OSes. Most people are completely unaware that practically every piece of software now in use on Earth is derived from a version of UNIX.
Microsoft is the lone holdout, because the truth is, Redmond isn't good at programming. They're good at buying up software and absorbing companies, then repackaging that product as their own. Haven't you wondered why Excel, Access, and Word still DO NOT interoperate after more than 18 years? Is TWO DECADES too much time to get an application to cooperate with another application THAT IS RELEASED IN THE SAME PACKAGE?
The reason MS Office won't, and probably never will work very well, is that each of its components were acquired separately, and never designed to work in the Office Suite they're wrapped in. Rather than FIX IT, MSFT took the typical "rewrap" approach and kludged it. To this day you still can not open a Word or Excel file with Access. I had to use custom software to import and export documents when I worked at the US Census's property management office last year. Even files from the SAME product fail to import into a NEWER version of that product.
MSFT's problems are so systemic, so cultural, and so based upon an ability to AVOID competition with lawsuits and no-bid contracts, that in an environment where they can not hold a monopoly, they are doomed.
Don't take my word for it though, read that guy up above. He knows what he's talking about. Or, you can just look at the sales figures. MSFT didn't enter the phone market until years too late, and they've never gained a foothold. Products like Mobil 5, Zune, and the Surface, were all years behind other products that worked better. The consumer never embraced Microsoft, it was forced on them. In the phone market, consumers chose anything but Microsoft, because they had a choice.
I don't expect this to change. You can polish it for 18 years, but a turd is still going to be a turd. I order new computers as either 'bare bones' or 'custom assembled' because not only do I get better pricing, I don't pay for Microsoft.
Some of the best games entering the market in 2010 were web based, and a web based game doesn't know what operating system you're using. It doesn't matter much, except that a good OS will run faster even with web apps. I've never had linux crash. Not once in 21 years. I've never had a virus. Software that doesn't work simply just doesn't work, and linux continues working fine.
People keep predicting the death of the PC, but that's one thing the market gurus have been wrong about for 10 years now. A phone doesn't have a quad-core 3ghz processor, 8 gigs of RAM, 2 terabytes of storage, DVD drives, 22" 1080p monitors, or any of the other large-format hardware that a PC has always used.
When IBM introduces a quantum processor for a phone with a 30" holographic display, datacube memory in the terabytes, and gigabyte wireless, then maybe the PC will begin to slide in popularity. Until then, I'm sipping Starbucks[tm] in my 450.00 task chair. There's a lot to be said for having a nice office, and a good gaming PC.