Moore's law has also affected PCs in another way. Take this piece I'm writing here. Once I would have needed a PC running a word processor to type on, but today I'm actually writing this on an iPad. My iPad – my workhorse iPad is still a first-generation model that I bought back in 2010 – does the job just fine.
It works so well that it has essentially replaced my notebook, and it packs enough power that I only need my big quad-core desktop behemoth for heavy photo and video editing. Oh, and gaming.
The PC industry is in a decline. It is an inevitable side effect of more players and more devices entering the market. While I'm not saying that Windows is dead, or even dying – it isn't – its importance is being diluted, and this is, and will continue to have, a detrimental effect on the PC industry.
People will want PCs for the foreseeable future, but they no longer need to buy a new one every year or so. Microsoft, and the hardware partners, are going to have to get used to this changing landscape.
Is there anything that could make Windows 8 relevant? Yes. Apps.
Microsoft has an app store – much like the app stores baked into Android or iOS devices – built into Windows 8. If Microsoft can get compelling new apps – think the next big thing, like Angry Birds was when it came out – into its app store before anyone else, then this could drive people to Windows 8.
The problem with this is that developers put their apps where the biggest audiences are, and right now that's on Android and iOS. Microsoft might be able to strike deals to get exclusives into its store (just like it does with the Xbox platform at times). But unless these apps are compelling enough, people will just wait until the app is available on the platform they already have access to.
Expecting people to buy a Windows 8 system to get access to an app that's likely to cost between $0.99 and $5 is plain crazy.
Microsoft's app store has a long way to go before it is compelling enough – and big enough – to draw people in to Windows 8. Maybe it will be ready when Windows 9 is out.