Some very astute comments.
Apple has seen the light in not charging for OSX. They will make their margins elsewhere.
On the othehand, Microsoft can't even give Windows 8 away so they have a precidence already to not charge for Windows.
If they don't, where is the money (viz income) going to come from in the Operating System space?
They don't seem to have a clue really.
Their focus on the 'cloud' could have a big impact on their bottom line. Can they charge a $200-$1000 license fee for an Instance that may only last a few hours/days/weeks? Nope.
so, once again... Where is the income going to come from?
Satya is IMHO between a rock and a hard place. Balmer has left him up shit creek without a paddle.
IMHO, it will be up to his successor to make or break MS. Satya will fix a few of the more obvious things that are wrong with MS. Then he'll head off to pastures new, a very rich man.
Personally, I think MS is at a crossroads. They might do well to look at the maschinations of DEC in the 1994-1997 timeframe. I see a lot of similarities with MS in 2014.