Best news for Apple and Linux yet!
This is actually to be expected: see the other article "Windows Vista Unreadiness Revealed" for just how unwieldy Windows and Office have become. By combining hardware and targeted platform-specific software MS has the possibility of reversing the bloat problems Windows suffers due to all the configurations it needs to support. MS has a possibility of becoming the world's largest electronics company, surpassing Sony and Matsushita.
So why is this good news for Apple and Linux? Apple is already in this market, and is actually ahead of MS with the diversity of its offerings and the research/support commitment it has provided its community. Somewhat like where AMD was vis. Intel last year: the market share is small, but growing fast. MS could lose as much as 15-25% share to Apple before it reaches momentum on hardware and content commitments.
Linux wins by being the "only girl at the dance". As MS starts cannibalizing hardware partners, Linux distros will begin looking VERY attractive to stand-alone hardware vendors that can't match MS in diversifying or tolerate MS dictating very restrictive specifications to them. (Think of Wal*Mart telling Dell how to design ALL of its systems - that is, BOTH of the two Wal*Mart will buy from them...) Expect to see a flurry of distro purchases and OSS application licenses in 2009-2010 if this holds true.
By 2015 with this model, my SWAG would be something like MS 40% market share, Apple 25% and various vendors with Linux making up the other 35%.
Of course, I'm almost ALWAYS wrong: ask my financial adviser sometime!