Despite my reservations I'm not here to bash Microsoft. Windows 8 is still two years from completion (if it stays on course) and it could equally be argued the whole tech sector will be a very different place by then.
If Microsoft plays its cards right it is also presented with a tremendous window of opportunity. Get Windows 8 out in mid 2012, get Windows Phone 8 ready for the same time and unify desktop and mobile strategies. Make Windows 8 a hugely scalable PC and desktop-centric OS with tablet credentials and expand on the narrow focus of Windows Phone 7 so that its successor is equally adept on smartphones, tablets or netbooks.
The result is pair of products with the potential to excel in their core segments, but also offer businesses and consumers a choice in what they want for their tablets and netbooks. Make 'Windows Store' purchases transferable between both platforms, tie them in with Xbox Live and problem solved.
On the flip side we have to remember this is Microsoft, king of the one-good-one-bad release schedule, and often crippled by jack of all trades indecision. The potential of Windows 8 is frightening, how disastrously it could go wrong - equally so...