Re: How does a $250 Windows 8 laptop sound? Or a $200 2-in-1?
I don't think Office is irrelevant by any means, though it doesn't appear invincible in all markets any more. For enterprises, I think Office 365 presents a lot of legitimate benefits. For consumers, the advantages are less obvious-- especially because, as you point out, a lot of free/cheap alternatives are "good enough" unless you're a power user. But even for consumers, the multi-device licenses can be useful, and as Office apps become increasingly integrated with one another, the suite's collaboration and social tools could become a bigger deal, in the office and at home. In any case, even if there are good alternatives to Office, I think a market clearly exists for sub-$250 Windows PCs. Give students a non-touch, $200 laptop that runs Office, for example, and I think you'll see a lot of happy school administrators. The 8-inch Windows tablets that come close to that price point aren't all that useful for Office-- but a 13-15 inch, no frills laptop offers clear utility at that price.