"Windows 8 represents really a generational shift of hardware--a generational shift of the operating system and apps, all together, all at once," Windows honcho Tami Reller said at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference back in November. "It was built for the future, not just any one single selling season."
That being said, if Microsoft's new-look Windows stumbles down the stretch and the company truly doesn't have a Plan B in place, well, let's just say history hasn't been kind to similar high-stakes gambles.
"Remember Palm?" Columbia's McGrath asked me with a laugh. "They went for a 'No Plan B,' and maybe it really would have been better to have one."