The hardware Microsoft brings to market -- PCs, tablets, smartphones (whether they make it themselves or not) -- needs to be compelling enough to have a chance to be better than the rest. An adequately stocked app store is expected on a mobile device; a bit like having a keypad from which to make a phone call. Microsoft needs to build a true ecosystem that connects its moving parts. Given Steve Ballmer's poor treatment of Xbox, there's no reason to expect anything but more words and even less action.
-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.