Who cares if Microsoft lost a decade, Windows 8 is the real thriller

Led by its blundering chief executive Steve Ballmer, software giant Microsoft has “lost a decade” in its competition against rivals; Apple, Facebook, and Google have roared by it with more relevant offerings, leaving Microsoft in the dust suffering from a stagnant stock price and old-fashioned products.
That’s the argument made in a long piece in Vanity Fair published last week, and one that’s been widely debated in recent days.
But while so much fuss is being made about what’s in Microsoft’s rear-view mirror, the big test for Microsoft is the cornucopia of opportunity in its future. The company’s fate really depends on Windows 8 and the host of other products rolling out over the next year.
Windows 8 is the company’s new operating system, due in October, though it’s already being tested by developers. It’s Microsoft’s line in the sand. It’s so ambitious that it aims to cater to both touch-screen (tablet) and non-touch screen (PC) interfaces. Either companies and consumers buy it, or they don’t. True, some big players have been very critical of the OS already, calling it a “catastrophe” because of its code complexity. Its Metro touch-oriented UI, kitchen-sinked with everything else will create hassles for developers, according this line.