The first thing people will want to run is some version of Office and Flash. Without these, I don't see how it is a real alternative to iPad or Android tablets.
If Microsoft wanted to kick ass they could have engaged, I dunno, some of the top engineers in the world working for them to enable some sort of x86 compatibility or some sort of better plan on transitioning x86 apps to ARM. They would have marched into Adobe's offices and said, let's get Flash on Windows8 tablets 100% sorted.
At the very least they should have come up with a bold plan to make Office for tablets. Why they are not doing this is a mystery. A massive percentage of people buying iPads have "Can I do Office on this?" as one of their first questions. Yes there are apps that do that for iOS and Android but surely it would pale in comparison to Microsoft Office for Windows 8 tablets... right? *Sigh*
What that tells me is that Ballmer sees it I the same way Jobs does, that the tablet is mostly for consuming content, not creating it and good battery life is paramount.
It also tells me that M$ is probably scared that they may cannibalize their core market which is desktops if they were to make them fully compatible.. They can't possibly make as much on the tablet by selling the whole office suite for $30, like apple's similar offering.
Unlike other wannabes they are showing restraint, waiting for others to fall flat and they learn from it.