That's exactly what they are doing. That so called 'Start button' is a joke. I can just as well push the Start button on my keyboard. What they are doing is an insult to their user's intelligence.The phrase "putting lipstick on a pig" comes to mind when describing 8.1.
I think they might do fine with the tablets.
Massive promotion budget, and presence via oem's everywhere.
Because of that, the os would have to be truly disgusting to do badly. It is probably ok for tablets, so MS might get 20% or more.
It might continue to keep potential buyers away from pc's. We shall find out.
MS, Apple, Google, and other Corps have been profitable, but that's not the point. It's about investor confidence of what they think a company will do in the future. It's like a farmer who won't plant seeds in bad soil or thinks there will be a drought. He/she may invest their money in something like cattle instead.
I would imagine that Apple stock took a hit when Steve Jobs died. That would certainly put a damper on investor confidence.
BTW, large corps are faring well during this world wide recession. It's mostly small business that took a big hit.
I don't think 8 was targeted at enterprise, although some may adopt it. I think eventually customized apps specific to a business will enter the scene. I've read articles on that.
All in all, don't forget that Microsoft has an ace in the hole > 7.