If you have to explain a logo, it's a failure.
I disagree. The Coca-cola logo doesn't need explaining, neither does Adidas, or Apple, Twitter, or Nike. These logos don't explain anything about their product. Yet they exist as effective icons. MS's current window is lacking. The slate might not be the ultimate MS icon, but it's IMO it's more visually effective than what they've had.
I do agree about MS. I think they are desperate, and if they were serious about improving their situation, they would fire Balmer ASAP.