What on earth is wrong with MS? It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't like them so much. First they want to become a device and service company, now they want to be a business software company and spin off their consumer hardware and software divisions? I am not a fan of Balmer, but he must have had to deal with a lot of crap in his position.
If MS just had a good, clear-headed leadership then they could turn all of their hodgepodge products into a series of product lines that create value rather than distraction and compatibility woes. Changing things like Office into a membership is a good idea... just not at $100/year for joe consumer (no matter how much 'value' is in it, that price is about $75-50 too high). Having a game console is a dead end street, but turning that console into a computer line, part of which happens to have a focus on gaming, would be a great idea! Having music and video services is also a great idea, but let's not turn those services on their head every 3 years and scare people away from it! Games For Windows, Xbox game services, Windows Game Store... all great ideas, but think about it for 5 minutes and make a single flexible licencing service rather than a bunch of little services. MetroUI is awesome, and having a unified UI between such a wide variety of devices should be applauded, but at the same time give those backwater people their start button back to avoid so much bad press. A winRT tablet is not a bad product... a $500 winRT tablet is a bad product. Adding Office to it doesn't help add value for most people. Strip office out of that thing and sell it for a more appropriate $250-300 and watch it succeed, and offer Office as add-on software or as a 365 package like it is for just about everything else (same with WP's office). Having a console is not a bad thing, having online DRM is also perfectly fine and normal (and is required for just about every other game device these days from PCs to phones and is not a problem), but having a $600 console which spies on it's clients and has no 4K support when you expect the hardware to last 10+ years is a problem. Having a device with 500GB of space when games are 50GB each is a problem. Make kinnect optional, or if you absolutely must have voice commands (which you should, and should bring to win8) then put the mic in the controller or console and make the camera bit optional. And for goodness sake, when a new TV standard is coming out then you should at least have video playback support for it even if you can't play games at that resolution! And finally, subsidize that puppy to get units out the door, you will more than make up for it in overpriced game sales! Having a phone is awesome (seriously, WP is great people, give it a try), but surely MS is a large enough company to work on catching up on hardware support while adding simple highly demanded features like being able to attach a document from the email app rather than starting the email from the office app! I know that such features will finally be coming next year, and there are plenty of other things that won me over to overlook such annoyances, but there is no way that feature (and others like it) is going to take a few programmers more than a week to fix, and the lack of those kinds of features are going to scare off more users (specifically professionals and businesses with money to burn) than the lack of quad core CPU support or 41mp camera support.
Seriously, MS is just so close to being good on so many fronts! And yet it seems like every time they manage to find some sort of product synergy they manage to mess it all up. A blind monkey would have better odds. But after things like this it seems to me that MS needs a new board of directors rather than a new CEO.