SoloXCRacer saidI don't think M$ is looking to dethrone the iPad, but they certainly want a piece of the pie, like everyone else.
On the business side of things, I see this having potential for in-house LOB apps. Right now you have a cost associated with the development of an in-house app running on a desktop. If a company wants to make their app "mobile" on tablet devices, there's another cost there for that development, whether they choose Android or iOS. Writing that app for WinRT, you write the app once, and it will run on both Windows 8 RT tablet devices and Windows 8 desktops. Same code, same binaries, zero modification. You eliminate the cost associated with developing for multiple platforms. My company has already been writing proof of concept apps for clients in the banking, manufacturing, and oil & gas industries. Love them or hate them, there's good potential on the business side. On the consumer side.......that have some stiff competition.
i work with the largest oil&gas + natural resources companies in the world, the majority of them are still running on windows XP and are only now finalising their windows 7 deployment strategies. Windows 8 will definitely not find itself into the rio tinto, anglo, bhp, etc environments for at least another three/four years. Outside of this industry the others follow a similar path. There is way too much risk associated with going with the latest on release, secondly, the majority of enterprise applications first need to support the OS, then it needs to mature, and once matured, only then do they release new OSs into their environments.
Another challenge comes from interface design principles and security policies and requirements applied to mobile application vary greatly from their desktop counterparts, thus, regardless as to platform, the security and UI layers will have to be built for two environments "you cant just do one app and port it".
Then the last point on this is also that these companies don't use fat clients. Enterprise services are all sourced from their portal environments, with the appropriate identity management functionality filtering content and services available to employees. Portals are the gateways to the services and functions these employees use, all of which are again provided via web based applications to the end user. There are no real "fat" clients run in the fast majority of corporates, the only applications are really productivity ones "outlook, word, excel, powerpoint". 10 years ago the majority of the companies did fat client development, but the shift to web based access has proven successful.
The moral of the story:
1) Windows 8 wont go into the enterprise environment "at least for the top 15 companies globally" for at least another 3-4 years.
2) These companies don't use "apps" to service its user base, they use the portal with other web client based applications "back end maintenance, support, etc". this wont change because of windows 8
3) Majority of companies with internal mobile strategies "their internal users" are all based on web client with SAP, Oracle, Sharepoint, etc already offering mobility support out of the box
4) interestingly, ALOT of these companies are now piloting CISCOs bring your own device policy as internal research shows it will reduce the IT burden... in this environment, web client is critical
As for the consumer market:
1) I believe it will sell well, if they learn from their marketing and awareness mistakes on the mobile phone strategy. they have a great mobile phone OS, but they havent been able to ship in volume due to partners not really being able to push the hardware.
2) If the cheaper tablet offers FULL outlook and word functionality
3) If they can somehow fund the top 50 mobile app development studios to release their apps for the surface DAY ONE. They need a content strategy. Content strategy is CRITICAL for any device. The PlayStation Vita is selling terribly because the initial content strategy was horrid, there is still to this very day hardly anything new to play on it. Same with the surface, make SURE that there is content available that users can use.
Anywayz, off to gym, have fun