re: Are Businesses Waiting For Windows 9?
It's wishful thinking that Win8 is going to sell well later in the year as new devices show up. Its primary problem is not that the devices it already runs on are not reasonably appealing. Its problem is that they are way too expensive.
If you want mobile, as consumers most obviously do, iOS and Android are far less expensive. WinRT is the obvious Microsoft competitor here, but its application ecosystem is still way too sparse and it's at least as expensive as the other guys despite this. It flopped, and it's hard to see why that state of affairs might turn around any time soon.
If you're primarily productivity driven, e.g. in the enterprise, then you will have limited use for the cheap mobile offerings like iOS that consumers find so appealing. On the other hand, you're probably not long from having rolled out Win7 and it's quite difficult to see where Win8 gives added benefit except in very narrow niches. The UI is not especially well suited for non-touch systems, and touch-based systems are a couple of hundred dollars more expensive than non-touch with no real benefit.
Corporate doesn't need that stuff, and consumers have less expensive offerings that they're buying hand over fist. Where's the draw?
I too think the one-size-fits-all attitude is very costly. Either you get balky interfaces that don't necessarily fit the form factorm like those tiny little start menus on WinMob, or you get so much legacy bulk in the OS that it needs too much hardware to be competitive. Or, in the case of Win8, both.
Balmer should be crucified for this. It's his fault Microsoft didn't have a competitor in the tablet space more or less concurrent with the iPad. Courier may not have been Windows, but it would certainly have been interesting and out there before iOS had a crippling advantage in the market. Today? Good luck with that, you're gonna need it.