I am not writing about money, which is all M$ really cares about, but share of “seats”. M$ can raise its prices for years to come to keep the money rolling in from the suckers but they cannot lock in more users it seems. Consider this. In October, Wikimedia records 91% of visits were “non-mobile”, mostly that other OS. 9% were “mobile”, mostly not that other OS. In October a year ago, the numbers were 95.2% and 4.8%. M$ is losing 5% share per annum on the move to mobile alone. In 2010, M$ had 84.29% share but now have 78.38% share, down about 6% per annum. Now that Android 4 is out and Android will make a big move in tablets, the slide for M$ will be faster simply because more mobile devices will be produced.
“8” won’t help M$. By the time “8” emerges, “7” will have locked in folks as strongly as XP has and no one, not even M$’s friends will want to invest in radical change to “8”. Meanwhile OEMs and consumers cannot wait to ship Android/Linux on smart thingies and soon, notebooks. No one who needs/wants a non-desktop GUI will need “8” if they already have seen Android/Linux in action. The general has sent troops east while the opposition outflanks him to the south and takes territory unopposed.