It appears that M$’s only hope for success with “8” is to take on Apple’s fans head-to-head in price/performance at the high-end of PCs. That puts M$ into fighting over a 10% niche rather than mainstream PCs. That puts M$ out of the game for small cheap computers.
“PCs based on Windows 8 are not expected to adopt entry-level pricing so the initial target markets will be developed economies where purchasing power is strong and users appreciate product innovation. Wang pointed to North America as being the key market, stating that Windows 8 needs to be as successful as Apple in the higher-end of the PC market.”
“needs to be” sounds like an ultimatum from OEMs. “Lead, follow, or get out of the way, M$” is what I hear. Good luck to M$, then. Those “developed economies” are grabbing */Linux at a great rate and consumers know they have a choice. I regularly read/hear how consumers are shopping around for the best deals in IT. They aren’t trying to buy the most expensive kit to keep up with the Jonses who are also shopping at Walmart.
It’s not only the OEMs who are pressing M$. “Partner” Intel is doing a lot on its own these days because M$ is not usually doing what’s best for Intel.