If I may, things should be put into historical context.
When 2K - actually (IMHO) a very good OS - much better than XP for "serious" uses, came out, there was an initial set of issues/problems, which were actually solved with SP1 or SP2, which came out rather quickly.
ALL (or nearly all) new users of win2K were actually long time users of NT 4.00 (many coming from NT 3.51) and came from an exceptionally stable OS.
When XP came out, most of those that had 2K, in the meantime become "mature", kept using it.
and only upgraded to XP when actually "forced" by either the lack of support (drivers) for new hardware or by Commercial strategies.
In practice NO Windows 98 user ever used 2K, they went "directly" to XP, often passing through Me.
So, the mass of the new XP users came from Me
, no surprise they found the XP such a great OS.
The mass of new 7 users came from Vista
, again not that much surprise that 7 was such a success.
Now the situation - as I see it - is not unlike the "shift" from 98SE to Me.
BTW, Me was a much better OS than Windows 98 SE (as it had a number of things "migrated" from NT/2K) it was simply "killed as a child" by the MS Commercial policies of pushing XP outside it's intended scope (still XP is far less suitable to single user/"not corporate networked" PC's than 98/Me).
And if you remember most of the whining about Me was about the (forced) removal of "pure DOS" (which was a heresy for the 9X users and is actually still a heresy from a technical standpoint).
In practice MS had TWO good OS's at the time:
the first perfectly suited for home use and the second for "serious"/business use.
Windows NT "naturally evolved" into Win 2K.
Windows Me was a (failed, but as said IMHO only because it was abandoned too early) attempt to re-use some of the good technologies developed for Windows 2000 on the still better "home/game" suited Windows 98Se.
Not that much of a proof, but remember that (roughly) a Windows 2000 machine needed to work smoothly DOUBLE the RAM of a correspondent Windows 98/Me machine.
I have a laptop that was "announced" as having Windows 98 SE, but it was actually delivered with Windows Me (with 64 Mb of Ram).
Though the Me worked allright, I had reasons to install 2K and consequently added a 64 Mb stick to the thingy.
Then the geniuses at MS had a better thought, since hardware was getting cheaper, instead of adding security/stability coming from the NT "branch" to the "DOS branch", they decided to add playful looks to 2K and force it to BOTH the 9x/Me users and to the 2K users.
For the new users, XP was nice, for the old time NT/2K users it was an abomination of unneeded eye-candy wich brought no advantages, for the old time 9x/Me users it was an abomination of complexity and of things they liked (games, mainly) not working anymore.....
But it was a success (for MS, mainly because they re-merged together - at the customer expense - two developing branches) and still, though being (as I see it ) a bettered Win2K, only worse
, XP has been a good OS, a lot of people have become used to it, and this is why Vista
was a shock to them.
Now that things have setled down and people is more or less happy about Windows 7 and relative apps (someone has even the courage to say that the "ribbon" is not that bad after all), here comes MS and with the same arrogance and prevarication they had with the Me (unneededly removing the DOS) they are now unneededly removing the "classic" interface replacing it with the NCI
But obviusly the only thing they are doing (AGAIN) is re-merging two development branches (the desktop and the tablet/phone one) into a single one, (AGAIN) at the expense of the customers.
Edit: corrected a few typos
This post has been edited by jaclaz: 04 October 2012 - 03:53 AM