But what do you mean by "mobile" and "desktop"?
I think the future of computing is trending away from the traditional desktop computer and going mobile. If Microsoft doesn't shift with that trend, they may still lead the way in market share on the desktop, but fewer and fewer people will be using desktops, so their markets will contract and their lead will become somewhat irrelevant (sort of like saying, "I'm the fastest out of anyone in my class...at morse code!").
Most Windows computers are mobile.
That's right - laptops over took desktops in the mid 2000s. So the fact that the future is increasingly mobile doesn't change the question, as there's still the question as to what would replace Windows.
Unless by mobile you mean handhelds like phones - in which case I'm not really convinced. Yes I suspect that handheld mobile devices will sell more (because they're more likely to be owned per person, and people tend to upgrade them more often), and a few people may only use them, but I've yet to see evidence that most people will throw away any form of general purpose computer. With Windows 8, we now see a range of "tablets" - many of which are hybrids with keyboards. Are these "desktops" or "mobiles"?
I agree here.
Look for Microsoft to continue enriching their ecosystem and participating in the various markets by releasing new OS's which bring desktops, servers and mobiles together under a common platform. This, I would argue, is their strong suite, much moreso than their OS. Their OS is just a vector/platform to bring their other products to market.
I don't think MS have much of a problem from OS fanaticism on a web forum... If we look at statistics and evidence, not anecdotes, we see it's Android that leads over IOS, so "or even" doesn't make sense. In phones, this is massively so - 75% share for Android, a mere 15% share for iphones.
I don't know anyone who actually wants a windows 8 machine. Plenty of people know they'll get one, but I have yet to meet anyone that actually desires a Surface (or any other windows 8 based tech).
On the other hand, almost everyone I know either has or wants an iPad/iPhone or even an S3/Galaxy tab.
I think MS have a bigger marketing problem then they realise.
And splitting hairs between "desire" and "will get" isn't fair (not to mention it isn't based on any evidence, anyway). I suspect there's less enthusiasm because everyone's used to PCs, whilst phones/tablets are new, and rapidly growing in technology. But as they reach maturity too, people will see them as just another phone. What's exciting about an ipad 4 over ipad 3, or iphone 4S versus iphone 4SS, sorry, 5 ... yawn.
You're also conflating two things - "Windows 8" with an entire range of products. The fair analogy would be iphone/ipad, or Android phone/tablet, with "Windows PC". The most obvious reason why most people don't actively want one is because everyone who wants one now already has one. Alternatively, it would be "IOS whatever" or "Android 4.1" versus "Windows 8" - now whilst I'd agree that most people aren't that enthusiastic about getting Windows 8, the same is true of the latest IOS or Android versions - most people don't care. Yes some people do, but that's true of Windows 8 too.
There's also the problem that the products you list are high end devices in their class, where as Windows will run on a range of things. Sure, most people would want an S3 or iphone 5 if you gave it for free, but this would also be true if you offered say a £1000 laptop. And I and many people I know do get excited about buying a brand new PC, especially a higher end one.
I want an ultra-portable hybrid like the Surface Pro; meanwhile, whilst I'm thinking of getting a tablet, it'll be a cheap Android one, and I put it off as it's not something that's of great use, or very exciting. And whilst I love my Galaxy Nexus, phones are no longer exciting - there's nothing I do with my new phone that I couldn't do with my Nokia 5800, just more CPU and RAM etc. And whilst I'll upgrade in a couple of years, the practical difference will be smaller. In fact, I'd say you've got in backwards - if technology is exciting, it's generally a sign that the technology is immature. Ironically, if people are no longer enthusiastic about products, it's a sign that the technology is developed and the manufacturers have got it right! Because consumers are no longer having to desperately wait for the next one. (I'd queue up if I'd had to wait years for basic features like copy/paste, 3G or apps...)
Not that I think this means much anyway. Yes, I'm well aware that Apple users will excitedly announce that they have got a new ipad/iphone, and then tell you about it every single day. But that's not something about MS, it's something about Apple users. And I'm not sure it says anything particularly good about them, or their products.
Edited by mdwh, 07 November 2012 - 10:20 AM.