MG Siegler writes some smart things about Steven Sinofsky's departure from Microsoft:
Sinofsky was the driving force behind the “no compromise” approach to Windows 8. I believe that approach is at the heart of the ultimate problem with the OS. As two separate halves, Windows 8 and Metro seem fine. As a whole, the OS seems like a schizophrenic mess. Microsoft should have copied the Apple approach with OS X/iOS, keeping them separate and slowly merging them over time by taking the best of both.
If Microsoft now starts to move Windows into a more iOS/OS X-esque, touch/keyboard and mouse optimised route, I think my biggest concerns with the software will disappear. I firmly believe that the “no compromise” approach to Windows 8 harmed the software significantly. Trying to glue together software designed to be interacted with a keyboard and mouse to software designed for touch, and attempting to make both work was a huge mistake.
If Sinofsky was the man responsible for this “no compromise” approach to Windows 8, perhaps his departure will result in more compromises and therefore better design. This may give Microsoft a chance to make headway in the tablet space.
I believe Microsoft could ship a Metro-only version of the Surface, without Office (or a desktop) and optimise it for touch. This is what they should have done all along with the Surface for Windows RT. The Surface Pro should be the only version with a desktop-mode — and only for running legacy applications. Microsoft should have created Office for Metro.
Microsoft shipping a real alternative to the iPad would be good for everyone: a monopoly is rarely a good thing, and Apple operates well under pressure from competitors.