The article makes a subject out of nothing. Whenever you buy a computer you compare (together with other aspects) the value of the bundled software. There’s nothing new here.
What the article misses and fueledbygin already said is the real danger behind this decision: that these devices will cannibalize the sales of bigger devices where Windows 8 really shines. The problem is that Androids and iPads are already cannibalizing those sales, so MS here has to propose something. With Windows 8.1 we need way less the desktop side of things (as all sensible options will be in the Metro interface), and Office RT (which is quite ok-ish for touch and will get better with time) the handicap compared to the bigger brothers will be smaller.