For a company "Future" means "growth", in business speak telling "desktop is not the future" is like telling "we can not expect more growth here". Which is true ! Desktop is ubidiquious no growth can be expected.
This does not mean they want to crash it all. That's my interpretation for their words though.
I don't think that is a "dekstop vs tablet" question, but a "touch vs mouse and keyboard" question. You eat the soup with a spoon and the T-bone with a fork. Why not swap it? This will keep some novelty creators happy.
Those input devices are created to pass information to the computer from us, humans, and the more convinient way on a quiet and steady table is a NEXT(c) windows system, and a touch device for a rought environement, the streen or an cash machine on a bar.
Any one remember the "hand writting recognition" issue. It was a bad idea, a keyboard is faster, but many people got exicted about it.
Really?? Don't know if it changed from 8 to 8.1 but easiest route I find is: Charms Bar - Settings - Power - Shutdown (I guess the only bit I find odd in that is "Settings" but doesn't bother me really...you get used to it.)
For the professional user (programmers, artist/designers)
I would like to see a secretary typing all correspondance with the touchpad in office. It's the same with accounting.
Of course there are many problems that could be bettet solved with a good touch-application. Controlling has some of those problems in BI. Programmers could navigate through issues with that.
All "visual" problems could be quick solved with touch. All others not.
That would be 5-10% of current users supporting desktop platform with the cost of such platform of $5000-10000 a piece. Win RT platform is closed platform with limitations on app design. It is not a good choice for average user because they still want 3rd party applications and interaction with other apps. That is not possible with closed software deployment model.
... and one that can go completely away. There was no reason not to leave the desktop UI completely intact, but no, Microsoft has to f*** with the Start button and create a presentation layer that for some reason also means you have to disable automatic updates in two places instead of one. WTF does the presentation layer have anything to do with the underlying OS behavior?
I hope that when Ballmer leaves, some semblance of intelligence will again grow back out of the primordial ooze that now seems to constitute Microsoft's collective "thinking."
you think that Metro Thing is just a visual overlay in Windows? It's not - there is a new API and the store thing... this explains also your "2 update disable" problem. What would you do instead of MS? Go with the API from 1986 forever and put another wrapper arround it, or just let the buissness users go with all there legacy in-house apps.? .. Ya' the start button -
People have been writing cool things for Windows for years. Windows survived all sorts of interesting things (like DirectX) without screwing up the desktop experience. There's nothing wrong with creating a new API. The store thing? It's an app!!! I can't imagine any reason something like that would require a new API.
I agree with your comments on "cool things ... without screwing up Desktop". And I don't want to discuss if the new API and UI is "good". But It's a fact that there is a new API for WindowsStore Apps (and Windows RT for ARM based devices). Couldn't quickly find a "better" summary - but main points are touched:http://msmvps.com/blogs/burrows/archive/2012/05/05/windows-8-metro-and-winrt.aspx
So the "store thing" is not just the app.
Of course I understand that your perspective is valid for a "user-only" view to the topic, but here we are on a programmer platform, and from a programmers perspective I can "understand" MS decision for a new API with no legacy concerns. But the "force to new Metro UI" is for shure a marketing decision, and regarding this I think your critic is valid (there should have beeen some option "boot to Desktop and let me alone with your Metro UI and new application infrastructure" from the first Win8 version on).