re: Windows 8 PC Makers Face Touch Trouble
"I think Microsoft is betting that people will phase out the desktop"
In the most popular use, yes, I think that is a fair assumption. However, I don't think the desktop is ultimately going away. This is a mistake I think Microsoft is making as opposed to Apple. Microsoft seems to be headed towards a merge mentality, where as Apple seems headed towards separate, but as nearly as possible, transparent sharing of the data. Then, borrowing various feature from one side or the other, as they learn.
I think the latter is a much better strategy, as hardware and UI realities are always going to mean power-tasks and complex interaction will be better suited to the 'desktop' while mobility will always favor the tablet/phone, etc. at the expense of power and UI. They are simply different.