That really depends on how MSFT handles the acquisition, should it close. If it compromises the Yahoo business for the sake of the core, or tries to use the Windows and Office franchise to dragoon users onto the Yahoo properties or worse - both - then both businesses will end up in the same tar pit. In the best interpretation, closing the Yahoo deal could be a gigantic example of the business move known as 'getting pregnant' - spending so much on a venture that it can't be ignored or compromised. If Microsoft forced itself to stop regarding services and anything operational as a red-haired stepchild of the Windows franchise, trying to leverage everything to and from that same franchise, and learned to respond to customer input in real time, it might end up being worth it. But it still wouldn't answer the question about Vista's relevance.
Update: The save XP movement breaks into the mainstream press. Pretty soon people are going to be squirreling away XP discs next to their incandescent light hoard.
What Can't Be Hedged? Physics has the notion that models that don't allow the existence of humans may as well be ignored. An interesting article from Policy Review essentially proposes an investing parallel, with globalization in the place of humanity: Any future in which globalization collapses cannot be hedged, and it's not worth doing it anyway. Globalization is now so deeply entrenched that the magnitude of disruption it would take to break up its economic patterns would leave little future in which to enjoy any proceeds of betting on the ultimate Black Swan. The author, Peter Thiel, is alarmed by the current frequency of bubbles that seem to threaten financial stability, but it doesn't take a lot of reading in (for instance) 19th century history to know that frequent shocks are nothing new. In theory, a more networked society and financial system may generate more frequent excursions, but also be more resilient against them. Thiel's point is that it's only worth taking one side of that bet. (Another interpretation is that this is a public display of how a hedger talks himself into being an optimist...)
Congress, As Seen From Iraq. You can take it from one of the locals or from one of our folks on the scene: The Congress critters trying to smear Gen. Petraeus aren't hurting his reputation, but their own.
The Religion of Beer. Speaking of Iraqis, some of them have their heads screwed on straight. As soon as Sadr's militia got kicked out of town, the Basrawis got their priorities in order. Perhaps they were inspired by one of America's founders, but more likely the cradle of civilizations was among the first to display mankind's proclivity to ferment anything that will, and sample the results. Meanwhile, back in California, one of our 'esteemed' legislators wants to make beer so expensive we'll be resorting to homebrew ourselves. Brilliant!