But I'm not going to go there. Other Windows alternatives -- desktop Linux, say, or Google OSes in the cloud -- have their own huge obstacles. It's a safe bet that by the end of 2011 it will be more of a pain in the butt for businesses to hang on to XP than it will be to upgrade to Windows 7, and eventually, we will slouch into the new OS.
Meanwhile, we can speculate all we like about Windows 8. But what, exactly, would make any new revision of a desktop OS a thrill? Until the industry discovers -- as it has attempted to do for the past decade -- a vastly more compelling way to integrate the Internet into everyday desktop user experience, the old desktop dynamic will continue to limp along. The treadmill may not be broken, but man, has it slowed down.