During the Mobile World Congress, Microsoft made the consumer preview of Windows 8 available to the general public. I had taken the ISO image and installed it on a VM. My goal was to isolate it completely and test out the value of the new Metro based interface.
When I had original done some testing with the developer preview last fall, I ran into a lot of problems, and was really down on the whole idea of putting a phone interface on a desktop; however I think Microsoft has done a great job of addressing a lot of issues I had. The dev preview seemed to require a tablet, but they have addressed this and now a mouse is just as good (almost).
You may ask why am I musing about a desktop operating system in a App blog. I believe that this trend of merging the Mobile and the Desktop operating systems certainly the trend that will continue. Both Microsoft and Apple are doing this with their next operating systems. From all we’ve heard about Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) and from what is public on Windows 8, both environments are taking the benefits and features of their mobile OSes and moving them to the desktop. Both Apple and Microsoft have enabled a Desktop App Store. Both have enabled location based services at the desktop level.
The open question is, when will we as developers be able to create one app and have it deployable on either platform. I believe that we will see this become available on the Microsoft platform much quicker than on the Apple platform.
The missing component here is Google and the Android ecosystem. Yes, you can run Android on Tablets and Phones, but a true Google Desktop operating system has note truly materialized. I would expect that this will happen if Microsoft is successful in their Windows 8 play.