My theory on "Blue"
We've heard that Microsoft is working on something named simply "Blue" and expect it to be out next year. What is it? Could it be SP1? A new version of Windows?
I was struck by an idea the other day. There's a major product Microsoft is throwing work into called Azure:
Here's the thing. Anyone that has installed Office 2013 might realize it can "stream". I've been reading up on APP-V and such technologies for the last few days at work. For those that don't know, APP-V allows you to "stream" applications from a cloud source (ie your servers) to clients wherever they have a connection. It can even "cache" applications locally in case you lose connection.
Here's my thought:
Blue = Azure + APP-V + Windows 8
Where I think this might get VERY interesting is Windows RT - imagine having an Azure subscription and being able to run AutoCad or something similar. You can have the servers render everything (something a tablet is NOT up for), and don't have to worry about x86 vs ARM compatibility. Microsoft could choose to sell Azure services to software makers and sell the "application" in the Marketplace - the application being a link to the cloud.
I know there are a lot of caveats with "thin clients" in general. That said, I think it's possible that tablet/mobile hardware is just about good enough and LTE connections common enough that this could potentially work out.
Microsoft LOVES subscription software. It's been a plan in the works for a long time and they could really benefit on the cloud front as well as the user side if this is executed appropriately.
If anything, it's food for thought...