Regardless. Microsoft listened to it's users and updated their software to support it. This shouldn't be a surprise. Microsoft, while a large company, does not simply ignore it's customers as you would have people believe. If you do any work with IIS or ASP.NET you should know this. Microsoft's community involvement is amazing.
"The free version of Visual Studio made software for Metro only, until people vocally complained."
It eats into netbook shares the same way Android and iOS do in that netbooks are not very compelling and are typically not primary systems for people either. Windows RT is not a full replacement device, even for "consumers". It does a better job of it than Android or iOS does, but it doesn't stand alone.Except it also eats into netbook market share, not just tablet and smartphone shares, and tablet and smartphone shares also eat into netbook shares, so the end result is less market share for open systems. I don't care what you compare it to, or what you liken it to.
Windows RT is the equivalent of iOS and Android.
We'll have to agree to disagree here. It would be an incredibly stupid move, and I believe the only thing consumers care about is if they can use their favorite applications on the new system. Why do you think it's so important for companies to get top tier games and apps on their systems? x% of users won't switch to Windows phone because it won't run y iOS app/game. x% of Windows users won't switch to an OSX laptop because they can't get application y on it. This happens all the time, and is a game Microsoft knows well. That's one of the reasons they invest so much in the development community.And has no guarantee that it won't only run such applications with a later version. Whether Microsoft will go that route or not, I don't know, but they are now much closer to such a transition if they decided to take it, and I prefer not to be shocked when the move is actually made, but to consider the ramifications (and what options I have, or what steps I should take to either take advantage of, or minimize the loss of) such a step way in advance of it actually being taken.
Windows 8 is the new (better) operating system which also happens to be able to run applications targeting mobile devices.
I'm looking at it from both sides. I am a developer and a consumer, just like pretty much everyone on these forums. Pretending that two are mutually exclusive is silly. On most platforms centralized distribution and app certification are good things from both the developer and consumer perspective! Windows has gotten a bad rap for security due to the garbage people are willing to install on their computers. App certification goes a long way towards mitigating the risks of malware infection. Also, as an independent developer of apps, centralized distribution is very important! Suddenly your new app will be available to not just your family and friends you send the link to, but it also shows up under the new app list for the millions of users who use those app portals! I spent a couple weeks working on a WP7 game, and there is no way it would have received even a fraction of the downloads that I did without it having appeared on a new app list in the store.
If you can't understand that, fine! Go start a thread, "Why I love Windows 8 as a consumer", meanwhile, we'll keep discussing, "What changes does Windows 8 bring to me as a developer".