What if Microsoft has Apple envy and they start making their own line of Windows' PCs? As of right now their retail front is a failure. In general even their software business is on the attack where people just don't need office anymore when there is alternatives that are free or very low in costs. For me I use either Google Docs or Apple's iWork. Then there is their failing Phone and Tablet platforms. Maybe they buy RIM and Nokia? Who knows. The only promising platform Microsoft does have is XBOX, but even that is long in the tooth. 7 years old and maybe 8 or 9 years before we see a new platform? Microsoft makes their money only by default because of a commodity called Windows. It is designed to make money, not necessarily be the best. Apple has always taken a different approach under Jobs' leadership where user experience matter the most and profits were secondary. It is a big difference in direction.
The problem for Microsoft is that they want to be both, but in reality they can't because of how they are setup, they will never be like Apple and Apple will never be like Microsoft. But if Microsoft continues to chase Apple and try to be like them, they will continue to falter. Microsoft is more like what IBM used to be, even if Microsoft didn't plan it that way, they have now become the new IBM. Microsoft solutions such as Exchange work well for business, they should continue that drive.
The way I see the future of networking is that Microsoft will handle the backend, server side solutions while on the client side people will be using Apple Macintosh's, iPhones and iPads. If Microsoft realizes that, it could be a powerful alliance, powerful enough to knockout Google. If they don't they will be overpowered by Google, Linux and Apple.