re: Ballmer's Legacy Still Incomplete
Yeah, much as I'd be curious what on earth (or in space) Musk might do with Microsoft, I included him mostly to show how extreme some of the suggestions were. People seem to be settling down around Elop, Nadella and a few other candidates. But with the first rush of successor suggestions, it was like some people were pulling names from a hat.
As for iPad functionality... yeah, in a traditional sense, it's not nearly as functional as a computer, and it still can't do many of the things a Windows tablet - let alone a traditional PC - can do.
But here's the thing: users like the device so much, they've found new ways to be productive, and new ways to create functionality out of the device and the UI. The Surface Pro has more built-in functionality from a traditional standpoint. But even among many users who've actually given Windows 8 a chance, the hybrid tablets present their functionality in a compromised way, which has largely nullified the advantage. There's also market research to suggest a lot of people are happy to view laptops and tablets as separate devices, raising the question of whether Surface-like functionality has mass market appeal in the first place.
If Windows 8.1 and the next round of devices can refine the experience such that the functionality (rather than the compromise) stands out, then maybe things will turn around. If Microsoft doesn't make progress, it will be interesting to see if the next CEO deviates from the trajectory Ballmer has established. Either way, I think "eventual market leader" is possible for Surface-like Windows tablets, but I wouldn't call it likely, let alone certain, either inside the enterprise or in general.