"Avalon is to Microsoft as microchannel was to IBM."Time will only tell. I think there are significant problems with nearly every aspect of Longhorn. But that's from a technical perspective. The continuing flury caused by Joel Spolsky's insightful analysis of factions inside Microsoft originated and is supposed to be about the customer and about business.
Microsoft has been better about business than anyone else in the software industry. I have no qualifications to argue with that.
Excercise for the reader: determine which camp *you* belong to. Can you overcome cognitive dissonance and identify three of Joel's significant points that are being missed in the three responses linked above?