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Vista's biggest problem, aside from performance on launch, involved UAC (far too in your face at times) and compatibility (especially if you went 64-bit, where hardware and software took their damn sweet time catching up--to the point there are vendors still to this day that haven't gotten their products compatible to the point they can even run on Windows 7 x64).

Windows 8 at least can skirt the compatibility part because you have two interfaces on top of one another. So, as the saying goes, Microsoft has managed to avoid old problems and, instead, created brand new ones. They'll still have a UAC-like hurdle to jump over, however. There's a big perception piece to all of this. Difficult to say how the end-user will perceive it in full because none of the Metro apps work aside from Metro IE (and I maintain its UI sucks).

I'd prefer a free upgrade myself, but I can see why Microsoft would charge for it. You can wait for Win 8 and not pay any upgrade fee, or you can buy a computer today and for $15 (instead of $150 - 250, whatever it costs) get Win 8 later. American Companies like nothing if not "convenience fees" (that delivery charge for your pizza really should be relabeled "convenience fee" but who likes paying those?). And there's Apple, which charges $30 (apparently, relying on prior posts) so why shouldn't Microsoft? Still undercutting the competition while getting some of that pie for themselves. I rather they didn't, but for-profit companies like maximizing profits.
 
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