Microsoft is clearly moving toward having more native apps be served by HTML5 in Windows 8, and they're moving to have it be fairly transparent to the end user that this is what is happening. You're in a web-app, just like Chrome - but you're seeing it the same way a native app would appear.
Microsoft realizes that SaaS built on HTML 5 micropurchases is an exponentially bigger revenue source than the "buy once, use until you upgrade" legacy model of their traditional desktop OS - and Windows 8 is an interim hybrid solution designed to deliver *both* experiences in one platform as the transition takes place. It seems like no one else gets that, and you would think that every tech blogger worth his or her salt would have realized this after just spending a short time with Windows 8. Instead, they're all too distracted comparing it to Android and iOS and picking apart how it isn't as good as a tablet OS as those platforms. That isn't the play Microsoft is running here. Windows 8 is competing with ChromeOS (and has a better plan for early adoption - Google would do well to integrate ChromeOS and Android into a single OS that supports mobile apps and native desktop apps to compete with Win 8).
Ubuntu is well placed strategically to be a player in this platform too, if they can get over their traditional ideological reluctance to make proprietary, closed-source pure distros their *default* install on end-user machines.
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