The comment "Microsoft underestimated Windows users' preference for old programs"...
These Microsoft Partners should also criticize themselves for believing that consumers have some endless appetite for duplicating gadget-based services.
We had Viewsonic and HP tablets back in 2003-2004 using WinXP. Those were handy for some services (walking warehouse floors and scanning items by the hundreds of thousands). Of course, a PalmPilot did the same thing for 25-30% of the price. The Palms were filled after a mile-long shelf and had to be downloaded (emptied into an end-of-shelf PC, for example) and that was connected in data-servers. The Tablets could hold half a day's work, however - several mile-long shelves.
And when those were dropped, well, then a halfday's data was lost.
Within a few months, the Palms were clearly preferred. Warehouse customers refused to buy tablets for that reason. They loved the gimmickiness of the tablets - and those folks never danced around picnic tables with them!
But their productivity wasn't so much greater and their data-storage improvement was mostly a Risk Factor, not a benefit.
For ASUS and other hardware manufacturers to believe the Tablet Market opens up a Whole New Set Of Customers - that would spend their money on tablets but never spend it on hand-helds (incl smart-phones) or a notebook on a rolling 'desk' - well, that's THEIR foolishness.
If they base their hardware assembly projections on Steve Ballmer - after the 2003-2004 tablet exercises - well, that's All Hardware Makers' fault. That bait has been used before and those folks fell for it - if RT and Surface aren't "living up to projections", that's just some fool believing the same old marketing lies.
Microsoft will always tell their Partners that the Partners will become kajillionaires if they only buy into Microsoft's next big thing.
Who's to blame when the fish in is the skillet? The fish for taking the bait, or the fisherman for making the cast? I think "both equally" is the right answer, but it doesn't help the Fish one bit, either way.