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Microsoft and Windows 8: The Doomsday Scenario

Stocks in this article: MSFT AAPL GOOG NVDA INTC

2. Windows RT for tablets: The main selling point for Win RT in comparison to, say, the iPad and Android tablets is that it runs Microsoft Office. But there now are many programs for alternative tablets that allow you to view, reformat and, in some cases, edit Office documents. So that case for Microsoft Office is slipping away fast!

The real argument Microsoft does not mention, is that people who want Microsoft Office want it because of Outlook. Outlook has functionality that Apple iOS and Google simply cannot match, and it's a huge issue for many power users. But in a stroke of nonbrilliance, Microsoft decided that RT gets Office ... without Outlook! This will go down in history as one of technology's greatest fails.

3. Windows Phone 8: Almost everyone agrees that Microsoft is getting the Phone OS right. The problem here is that it is late to market, with far fewer apps than Android and iOS. There is significant app lock-in with both Google and Apple, so it's not good enough for Microsoft to be "just as good" as Android and the iPhone. Who wants to bet that the buying public will deem the Windows Phone 8 not just equal to the iPhone and Android, but also better?

Bottom line: The risk/reward for Microsoft in terms of its gigantic three-pronged Windows 8 launch is not positive, and disappointments could drive users into the arms of Google and Apple.

At the time of publication, Wahlman was long AAPL, GOOG, NVDA and QCOM, and short MSFT and AMD.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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