No matter how much Microsoft has promised about successive versions of Windows starting faster than ever before, machines still often take minutes to boot. Especially after the installs have been in use for a while, a quick boot is often out of the question. Thus, Microsoft is probing to see how much interest an instant-on feature would generate.
Microsoft has been surveying users to see if a limited-functionality but nearly instantly accessible interface would be of any use to a common user. Exactly how limited remains up in the air, but the survey indicates that such an environment wouldn't give any access to data stored on the PC and would have a limited scope of applications of available. The limited environment would supposedly be usable in a mere eight seconds.
Even so, such an environment might be of little use when put into the context of a computer. Depending on whether or not it had web accessibility, it may be an interesting novelty or completely useless.