Mat Honan, writing in Wired in Why Windows Just Can’t Win, concludes:
It doesn’t matter if Microsoft creates the greatest operating system in the world if it then allows others to junk it up. And, ultimately, it means that Microsoft isn’t in control of its brand.
The Metro name, the crapware, and the horrible release dates all point to the same problem: Even when Microsoft has a great product on its hands, even when its product, engineering and design teams manage to hit one out of the park, it won’t matter once the business team comes in and ruins it for everyone. Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Surface — these are all potentially great products. But if past is prologue, that may not matter.
Microsoft has the talent and the technology, and a lot of the work in Windows 8 and Surface reflects that. I think Mat has it right when he points out that it no longer is in control of its brand. But I think its more than just third party crapware, it’s also shockingly bad leadership, extreme conservatism to suit the large IT shops unwillingness to change and adapt, and no true and consistent vision for the future. Lead the business with vision, take a few chances and Microsoft can do anything!