re: Why Microsoft Should Make Windows Blue Free
If Microsoft does release Blue for free, it wouldn't be a precedent. Apple did this with OS X. They charged for the first version, but then gave 10.1 away for free.
But there is no saying that Microsoft's vision is workable. The only devices so far that use Win 8 are conventional computers, and tablets. But RT is not Windows, and the Win Phone isn't Windows, no matter how hard they try to convince people they are. A defining factor is that they don't run the same software. If they don't, then they aren't the same OS, no matter what the underlying tech might be.
Apple recognizes this with iOS and OS X. Inside, it's the same kernel, but the UI, and other services are different enough so that the software is completely different. This makes sense. No one really wants to run Office on their Win Phone. And from sales, it's possible they don't want to run them on their tablets either.
It seems to me that Microsoft was forced into their "vision". They had little presence in smartphones, no presence in tablets, and Metro, as used in the Zune HD, had failed. By forcing it on users of Windows, they believe that they will want it on their phones and tablets as well. That's really what this is about. They can see that smartphones and tablets are the future, and they couldn't figure out how to get there without leveraging Windows once again, an OS they think no one can do without.