Apple's blow-away quarter can be sliced and diced a zillion ways -- Mac are sales up 26 percent over last year, with non-Apple PC sales in the U.S. down 9.2 percent; Apple's unit sales (Mac plus iPad) now exceed Hewlett-Packard's total unit sales, making Apple by far the largest PC manufacturer. More iPads sold last quarter than desktop PCs, for heaven's sake.
In September at its Build conference for Windows developers, Microsoft showed its iPad alternative: ARM-based tablets running the forthcoming Windows 8. So where are they? Microsoft has released the Windows 8 developer preview for public download, but it works only on Intel x86-based PCs. PC makers have also shown just x86-based Windows 8 systems; there are no ARM-based devices out there. You'd think prototypes of ARM-based Windows 8 tablets would have been trumpeted at the Consumer Electronics Show and other venues by ARM chipmakers and Microsoft to give the Windows faithful a reason to not get an iPad today but wait for Windows 8.