"First, I'm not sure someone who worked at Microsoft for three years writing about software methodology is an authority on this (as they never really succeeded in the embedded space compared to the amount of work and money spent)."
What does Microsoft success in the embedded market (or lack thereof) have to do with the moral authority of someone writing about this topic? Logical fallacy in there :)
"Second, even if Moore holds here as you describe that still gives you roughly five years for an order of magnitude increase. Don't you think a five year head start on your competitors is valuable?"
It is valuable. But you only have so many resources. Do you really believe that you can go on an optimization spree, reducing Gnome to 10% of its current memory consumption, and still add features? Work on Vala, Zeitgeist, Gnome shell, stability improvements, Evolution Exchange backend, API changes, refactoring, deprecation of libraries, and still make everything 10x smaller? I highly doubt it that you can do it and ship before those 5 years are over. Therefore you win no time :)