So let's recap. Microsoft is heavily modifying its desktop operating system to make it better suited to being used on touch-enabled devices, but there's no proven market for Windows-powered touch devices. What's more, the majority of devices that Windows 8 will end up being installed on won't be touch-enabled. Add to that the fact that tablets running the ARM architecture won't benefit from any of the legacy support that makes Windows what it is. Oh, and the platform is likely to suffer from a very limited supporting software ecosystem.
Does all that make Windows 8 seem like a winning platform to you?
So am I predicting the death of Windows? Believe it or not, no. While I think that the heavy touch focus present in Windows 8 is a mistake because it's too much, too soon, it won't kill Windows.
If the Vista mess couldn’t kill Windows, nothing can. And just like Microsoft learned from its Vista mistakes and came out with the much-loved Windows 7, Microsoft will learn from user feedback with Windows 8 and that will make Windows 9 a far better platform.
My guess is that unless Microsoft comes to its senses with Windows 8 and makes the classic desktop available to those who want (or need it), it will be back in one form or other in the next version of Windows. And that the ARM and x86 versions of Windows will receive a branding upgrade so that consumers understand the difference between the two.
(And no, I don't think that the x86 architecture will be dead by the time Windows 9 is out. Look at how long the transition to 64-bit has taken or how long it took to bury 16-bit applications).
I can see some cool features in Windows 8 (I like the repair and refresh features, and I'm certain that the enterprise will love the new ReFS file system with its heavy emphasis on data integrity and reliability). But I think that everyone could happily pass on Windows 8 (especially if they're running Windows 7) and wait for what Windows 9 will bring.