re: The Windows 8/Metro Challenge
"And while the past is never as good a predictor of future performance as we all wish it could be, this is looking like a rerun of the Windows, Office, and SQL database market share wars of yesteryear. In all three cases, Microsoft was not first to market, nor were its initial products instant successes. But over time, and through that plodding patience that has frustrated competitors since the company was founded, Microsoft eventually clawed its way into a leadership position."
Not a relevant comparison in this situation. All of Microsoft's success in other areas has been predicated upon the ubiquity of Windows and the Windows interface. MS = Windows. Exchange/Outlook, IE, Office, etc all succeeded purely because of their association with Windows. Microsoft was able to easily step into the leadership position vs. Lotus, Netscape, WordPerfect, etc because they were able to integrate these apps with the OS that people needed to use. Now we are talking about Windows itself which does not have an anchor, as with the other products above, that puts it in a stronger position from the outset. They have to actually compete this time.
Side note: MS SQL is not correct. It is still running third in the DB market. Oracle has about 40-45% share, IBM DB2 has about 25%, MS SQL has about 15-20% per the IDC and Gartner numbers. If you were to look at mission critical DBs (for instance, DBs running SAP), MS SQL is nominal.