There have been mixed reviews of Windows 8, the Surface and other recent moves of Microsoft. That itself, in my opinion, is a huge plus for Microsoft. There are at least three key reasons (yes, and they are interrelated as well) why I say so, and I’ll be taking up one point at a time, a day.  
First the obvious one:

It’s the first ever OS to work well on all the three device genres:
Windows 8’s ancestry, unlike any other version of Windows before, appears to come from the mobile phone platform. No other software maker has so far been able to start an OS journey from the phone and adeptly culminate it on the PC. At most, Apple and Google have been able to extend the reaches of their mobile OSs, namely iOS and Android, to the tablet domain but no further. That Windows 8 has succeeded in making safe landings on all three device genres—smartphone, tablet and PC—is therefore a first. There already are signs that others would follow suit and already Apple has decided to merge its iOS and OS X teams (See:
The reason for that would indeed lie in the development approach towards Windows 8, which is understood to have designed grounds-up for all three platforms, as opposed to Andriod, iOS or even the earlier versions of Windows. Andriod was certainly designed for smartphones and then its developers labored to stretch it to work on tablets too (remember it took a while before Google could come out with a version of Android that was stable on the tablets?). Apple fared better, as Steve Jobs had first conceived the tablet design but decided to bring the iPhone first to the market, and so iOS has always worked well on Apple’s smartphones and tablets. In the pre-iPhone era, Microsoft too failed miserably time and again in the mobile phones segment as it tried to make retrofit Windows designs on the phones. 

(Read tomorrow: How the mixed reviews are a big positive for Microsoft: # 2.)

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