Coke doesn't get it because he doesn't want to get it. He has no intention of ever getting it. Does anyone really think that he will back track at this stage and ever admit there is even one flaw in Windows 8? Isn't going to happen. Not based on what he's said over and over again so far. He'll just make up another story about someone he knows who.......yada yada yada.
It might take me 20 minutes to customize my Windows 7 install the way I like it. I can spend hours just customizing that reached Start screen to get stuff where I want it and only the stuff I want on it. Every time you install a program its wash rinse repeat. The interface formally know as metro is a PITA on a non touch device, for most people. Your mileage may vary.
Personally, I think the future for this generation ultimately belongs to Google. Apple got there first, but ultimately they don't have the vision or the hunger at the top to really get after stuff.
In all likelihood, Windows is this generation's mainframes, and I'm sure there will be jobs for a good decade or so for old Windows Developers, ala the Cobol and Fortran guys, but ultimately what comes next is more than likely centered around Android and Chrome OS. They have the users, the hardware base, and enough money to keep building until they actually get to a 'Win 95' stage where everything comes together on both mobile and ultimately hybrid applications to really achieve a synergy between the two.
Microsoft can scream it from the rooftops all they want, if they don't get the users in the mobile arena and the hardware base, its a moot point. Ballmer is largely an idiot beancounter, and his moves reflect that. Gates is completely checked out, diversified and way too busy with the philanthrophy stuff to care. I personally think he's smart enough to know that Microsoft will certainly carry on and have good development ala IBM, but they won't be an industry driver ever again.
But then, its fairly rare that any tech industry leader really gets more than one generation(talking 20-30 years) at the top. It really takes hunger and drive and innovation to stay there and people frankly get old and fresh blood figures out a better way.
The reason Apple PCs became kind of irrelevant was because they wanted to own the entire eco-system. Microsoft took the view that software was the important thing and who made the platform that it ran on was more or less irrelevant. The rest is history.
The GUI is still as relevant as the day it was invented, as is the mouse (the one with scroll wheel and multiple buttons, not Apple's version), the keyboard, the fat fingers of fate, the evil eyes and whatever else comes in the future.
Google is the biggest threat to Microsoft ever, but they want to fight Google like Pepsi tries to fight Coca Cola. It's no contest when it comes to Google's claim to territory, even Apple is at risk in the mobile world.
The problem is, Microsoft is trying to do it all at once and, in doing so, is putting all of its eggs in the one basket and alienating its huge userbase. However, it's not the first time Microsoft has had a massive fail.
I often wonder whether some people (and I think they know who they are) actually READ other people's posts and attempt to answer their problems rather than just mouthing the same stuff over and over again --rather like those canned responses you get when trying to phone up a Bank and have to go through those horrendous off shored Call centres.
For instance @alphanumeric makes an absolutely VALID point about having to re-organise the start menu over again after installing stuff -- we all know the W8 install process is hideously flawed when installing traditional COMPLEX desktop type applications - but the BIGGEST supporter of W8 here (No names mentioned !!! but I'm sure we all know who I'm referring to) offers absolutely no help or suggestions on how to simplify the process -- and merely states that "Normal users" do not use things like CS6.
Normal users install ALL SORTS of applications - some simple and some complex and the whole start screen IS of genuine concern to these users.
I'd also like to suggest that even if you are used to say a smart mobile phone - I'd say that once you have around 2 - 3 dozen applications installed on it this type of interface is still TEDIOUS to use even on a phone -- and at least on a phone the tiles have different distinct icons unlike standard desktop apps installed on W8.
I'd just like to test the developers of the W8 metro GU with some mobile phones with say 150 apps installed on them and let them mess around with these for a while --they'll soon see the limitations of the Metro interface even on a mobile device.
Note though of course Ms will "diminish" in the software area -- for lots of cases etc Google makes a refreshing competitive entrant - but there will for generations yet be a requirement for "stand alone computers" not connected to the cloud / internet. - Robotics is a case in point - I suggest you see that film "I Robot" to see the dangers of having devices always connected to the internet even if it were possible. Virtual Reality / Holographic technology and medical use hardware requires other sort of software which Microsoft together with others will supply in the future so Ms won't go away - but Windows will diminish in importance as we progess into the future - but we will STILL NEED IT.
Ms might be morphing more into this type of hardware / software mix together with operating as a service organisation (aka IBM)
Mainframes aren't dead by a long way either -- their use has changed significantly though.
Enc screenshot of old IBM mainframe OS (running on a laptop !!!) with a TSO session too. Anybody remember that --IBM MVS/370 - 3.8G !!