I admit I am confused by Microsoft.
They have/had the largest catalog of applications of any company. They also have/had the largest install base of operating systems (XP + Win7).
Why wasn't there a plan to use this "vendor lock-in" to their advantage as they went to mobile (Surface)?
Every current MS user that is ready to upgrade their technology to the new mobile world, now has an easy reason to switch platforms. "Surface RT does not run all your old apps" is what they hear. (Sure you can buy the Pro Version that does, but that is not a strong marketing message you are hearing from Microsoft.)
So now as a user that is confronted with loosing every app I have, why not try out a different platform. I hear Android is cool (or maybe a Chromebook). Or try Apple. You don't have much to lose. And Windows 8 is like learning a new OS anyway, might as well try out the one your friend tells you they love.
Microsoft has gone from a company that has all the apps and games, to one that is totally starved for developer attention.
I am a software developer, so I don't know what the right path would have been. But this seems like it is not it. Maybe something where all the R & D $$ was put into the Pro version, to bring down the price and have only one Surface device. Heck it could have had RT on it (like the current version of Pro does). Then they could move to an RT only device in a few years.
I am just musing at ideas because what they did seems so wrong. (Maybe this is a case of hindsight is 20/20.)
Either way, it looks like they are about to do it again for the XBox (The XBox One does not support any XBox 360 games.)