In this second look at some of the information Microsoft provided at its Financial Analysts Meeting, we see how Microsoft is evolving Windows RT and Windows Phone into something that I think makes a lot more sense: A single product line with a single runtime and app model.
It's fair to say that while both products have yet to take off appreciably in the marketplace—Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday referred to the firm's slowness in entering the smart phone market as his "biggest regret"—both target very important markets. Hardware makers will sell over 1 billion smart phones this year, three times the market for PCs. And these firms will sell hundreds of millions of tablets this year as well, a market that could exceed the size of the PC market as soon as the end of 2013. Microsoft desperately needs to be part of that.