This is not your dad’s Microsoft. In the last few months Microsoft has been refocusing on Web services and devices instead of its mobile operating systems, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 (WP8). Neither OS have been cutting the mustard in the market. Moving forward, I see Microsoft addressing its mobile OS issues in two ways.
First, in the long run, 2014 and beyond, I see Microsoft replacing RT and WP8 with Windows 8.1. As Ed Bott said, with Windows 8.1, Microsoft is aiming squarely at mobile devices. How can Microsoft do this with ARM dominating tablets and smartphones? By eventually replacing its ARM-powered RT devices with Intel Silvermont/Bay Trail tablets running Windows 8.1.
It makes sense. This new Atom-based, long-battery life processor family can give Microsoft a low-end tablet that can run “real” Windows instead of crippleware RT or the unpopular WP8. This would also save developers time. They can just focus on Windows 8.1 without worrying about the underlying chip architecture. They would be working once more with the familiar x86 architecture.