Of course it's possible to display more than one app at a time, even in the tiled "metro" UI, but it's not as intuitive as in older Windows versions. There's no denying that MS intended for the Metro UI to be the primary Windows 8 UI, and for it to be more like a tablet OS, where the default behavior is for an app to occupy the entire screen. Instead of Windows 8, perhaps they should've named it Window 8 (singular).
I wholeheartedly agree with you Caleb. Like the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Imagine how much different the tablet market growth might've been if the iPad had not been the first to market. I think many early adopters whose only prior experience with Apple products was an iPod music player were not only enthralled by the portability & large touchscreen of the iPad, but by the fact that it was a computer that "just works" -- no driver installations, no elaborate boot-up sequence, no "registry errors," etc.
I think, in offices people would still use desktop or laptop computers in 2014, as the tablets are not yet equipped for office use. Thinking about the personal computers for home use...yes...I guess a bigger population would be happy to choose tablet over a desktop or a laptop computer, who were browsing internet, watching videos, playing games and using fancy apps...but don't know if that would be half of the 2014 PC market. As the accessories are available to convert a tablet into a desktop by connecting a keyboard and a display to it and once the matching performance is available in tablets, the tablets would replace PCs.
"even online shopping becomes laborious when you can only open one app at a time. It kind of reminds me of the ancient DOS days, when you couldn't even monitor e-mail and write a document at the same time."
And yet Windows 8, the OS running on so many of those "workstation" PCs, is fundamentally one app at a time -- a huge design mistake, IMHO.
Since tablets' market is booming in comparison with PC, but as per the usage of the tablets and average requirement of consumers it seems that slowly the market will shift towards convertible PC/Tablets. Accommodation of keyboard is an essential requirement in tablets to be used as regular PC for home/SOHO needs.
"A workstation would perhaps be a pod with the right accessories, to which you attach your handheld device."
Yeah, that's my take too. Until these handhelds can be docked one way or another, even just using the USB 3.0 to large screens, or projectors, and until they can run multiple applications at the same time, they won't replace PCs. Heck, even online shopping becomes laborious when you can only open one app at a time. It kind of reminds me of the ancient DOS days, when you couldn't even monitor e-mail and write a document at the same time.
I'm sure the time is coming, and the Surface Pro is a start.
My wife has a Kindle Fire that she uses for reading, weather reports, and for certain games (like Boggle, that surprisingly doesn't seem to be available on modern PC OSs). But she also has a desktop that she uses a lot.
Good point @betajet, a workstation it is. But even that one would not last forever, me thinks. A workstation would perhaps be a pod with the right accessories, to which you attach your handheld device.