Re: Moving faster
No, the pace needs to slow down. Nobody can handle the current pace of development.
MS's strategy has been all over the place in recent years. That makes it very hard to know what the best way of developing for their platform is. Metro was a disaster for those few who took the plunge...
A loooooong time ago MS showed Windows 7 + Office 2007 compiled and running fairly satisfactorily on an ARM dev board. It was even printing to an Epson printer. All they'd done was an ARM HAL for the NT kernel, recompiled the entire thing for ARM, and run it. Unsurprisingly it worked.
If they had followed through with that they could have had an ecosystem of fat x86/ARM binaries with an option for developers to put a touch interface on their applications too if they thought they'd be used on a phone or tablet as well as a desktop.
For the developers that would have been great - one source code base, a choice of supporting one or two application interfaces to suit, running on either desktop x86 or ARM mobile.
For users it would have been great. Your mobile would have a mobile interface when on the move. Plug in power, a HDMI, bluetooth mouse & keyboard and voila, a full desktop with desktop apps.
Why they didn't do it
The engineers who did that demo of Win7 + Office on ARM must surely have seen the potential for a strategy such as I've outlined above, and must surely have been desparate to do it.
The barrier at the time was that ARM SoCs weren't quite up to running a full fat desktop OS kernel on battery power in the memory (512 MByte was typical).
Those problems don't exist anymore, haven't existed for a few years now, and were always going to disappear as the ARM SoC arms race took off. ARM has had a good dose of Moores law...
Had MS chosen that strategy they'd be doing veeery well now. Instead the impatience to be seen to be doing something, anything, in the mobile space meant shoe-horning a nasty cut down Windows onto an ARM powered devices and porting some of that nastiness and cutdownedness to desktop (Windows 8 / Metro).
Where did that impatience come from? Ah yes, shareholder pressure... There must have been engineers weeping into their coffees.
I suppose one advantage that Apple had was that Jobs ignored his shareholders (wouldn't even pay them a dividend), whereas MS can't quite do that.