re: Windows 8 Adoption Slows Ahead Of Windows 8.1
Yep, it definitely puts it into perspective. Windows 8 is being used by WAY more people than all versions of OS X combined, and once Windows 8.1 arrives, the margin will grow larger still.
Nonetheless, it's complicated. Apple has to be a little concerned that Mac sales have been soft in recent quarters; the brand had until that point been resistant to the larger PC market's downturns.
But to an extent, Apple could care less about market share. Apple dominates laptop sales over $1000, and makes nice, fat margins on each. iMacs are popular too, and even Apple's forgotten step children, like the Mac Mini, are very profitable. Microsoft gets a lot of tangential benefit from Windows, but in terms of direct profit, it just gets a bunch of license royalties, and Windows OEMs have traditionally moved a lot of volume with low-margin commodity hardware sold at low prices. Apple gets not only revenue from OS upgrades, which is neither huge nor nominal, but also the kind of hardware revenue that Microsoft can only dream of. Pros and cons to each approach.
Microsoft's Windows-related profits have changed thanks to the Surface line and Windows 8, of course. I think Windows 8.1 will be better, and I think both the new Surface tablets are great pieces of hardware-- albeit very questionably priced. For Microsoft, though, the Surface Pro 2 won't just have to prove the merits Windows 8.1; it will also have to invade some of the markets where MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros have traditionally gobbled up market share. If Microsoft can actually make headway in this price bracket, it would be impressive.