This week at Computex, PC manufacturers are outing hybrid devices of every stripe. They're fun, goofy, slightly-to-moderately confusing little gadgets, but they're also a reminder that Microsoft isn't going it alone in its massive gamble on Windows 8. Everyone's along for the ride.
No one denies that Windows 8 has a wonderful touch interface. We've loved Metro on Windows Phone for ages now. But the cross-pollination of tablets and laptops is something totally new, and possible only with Windows 8's unified platform. That's why we have the new Asus Taichi, and the Lenovo Yoga, and a bevy of tablet-ultrabook mutants. But all of the wonderful, quirky, outrageous hybrids that Microsoft's OEM partners pop out underwrite Microsoft's enormous bet that people will like Windows 8. They'll buy it and love it and use it exactly how Microsoft intends. That's far from guaranteed.