That was a horrible headline but the gamers will get it. One more team kill buddy and your outa here! I also use "doomed" in the title because I've seen that word a few times this week and I keep asking myself if they aren't doomed what will they do in the mobile space? Let's rewind a little bit back to the Acer Iconia W3.
This thing was a disaster for both Acer and Microsoft and for what? I think it was to prove an 8" Windows tablet is feasible but it was done all wrong. The mass media will disagree with me but it's better suited for RT than the regular Windows 8 x86 OS. I think RT is the obvious choice but it might have been the easier way out for Acer in order to get the 8 incher out the door. They have since agreed that the screen is garbage and it will be improved in a future version. I think this device was requested by Microsoft and rushed to the Build conference for developers to use for 8" testing. You will now find it primarily on eBay for a heavily discounted price.
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard this; "RT would have been perfect if it was Metro (Modern UI) only." Microsoft seems to be late to the table for just about everything these days and RT is no different in my opinion. I too think it would have been a better product without the desktop, without the confusion, and maybe a different name. It's hard for me to criticize the product though because I do use and enjoy it but I think there are improvements to be made with it.
Here comes the "doomed" bombshell. Microsoft reports a 900 million dollar loss with Surface RT. I don't care how much they make that is a loss and a big one at that. I realize other branches of the "One" Microsoft can pick up the slack but that has to change things as Surface is concerned. What will those changes be though? Did Microsoft get enough feedback on the 8" to push forward with it's own offering? Will gaming be enough to support a device like this? Is the corporate environment enough to support Surface in 2014 with Windows 8.1?
I ask those questions because that is what I believe the next push will be. I can't see them giving up on Surface or RT but I'm having a hard time seeing where it fits now. Google just announced at $229, 7" tablet that looks like a great contender to stand up to the iPad. That put's RT in a tough position. I was maintaining a position that RT could dig it's way out of the 900 million dollar hole if it got smaller and lost the desktop. I'm not so sure of that anymore. I was also thinking that maybe they should target the gaming market and accessorize the xBox One with a gaming Surface but I'm not so sure that will work either. Wii U? I do think it's time to dig a hole right beside all those Atari ET cartridges and move on to Surface 2. Either that or give me a 7 inch tablet with Windows Phone 8 on it!
I believe that Surface Pro is here to stay though. I think the next push will be to the corporate folks. If it works for the corporate IT folks in the server room and from home connected back to the server room you can chalk up a win.
Summing it all up, no, Microsoft is not doomed but they have a huge hole to dig out of and it will be interesting to see how they choose to do so.