Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently announced a major executive departure at the highest levels of the company. Windows chief Steven Sinofsky has abruptly left the company, just after the launch of Windows 8 and Surface. This even adds an element of uncertainty to Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), since any concerns surrounding Windows 8 could potentially weigh on Intel as the dominant supplier of PC processors. NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) powers the Surface RT with its Tegra processor, so underwhelming Surface unit sales won't bother Intel right now. The Intel-powered Surface is due out early next year. Other PC hardware players like Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Dell (UNKNOWN:UNKNOWN) are also relying on Windows 8 for a boost.

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, Microsoft, and NVIDIA. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and NVIDIA. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.