Re: As much as it pains me to say this...
Likewise. I keep my hardware broadly current, have a win8 --> 8.1 device I still find confusing and can't see the benefit of metro turning my laptop stupid and running single apps full screen like the Dos days. I use some legacy and oddball programmes so need Windows platform, and actually am very happy with Windows for most things I need to do. A new XP? Great, I'll take it.
New browser, OK, why not? I'll give it a go. My browser preference is not as hard and fast as some zealots, so light weight IE might be alright.
Cortana - I've played with MS various incarnations of voice recognition in the past, never loving any of them enough to actually use. Maybe this incarnation will be better - deep integration will make a difference to it's usefulness, and 'Cortana' sounds less shit than 'OK, Google'.
So yeah, give me your best shot, Microsoft. You've got some great engineers and minds*, let them win me over. Over the top services - make the platform free and great and price them right and I can get my head around that. Please just don't fuck it up.
*Seriously, there are some incredible people there, amazing research, quality engineers. There are also some complete twats who keep renaming products either to take advantage of a good brand or duck a sullied one, or just to irritate me. I think they're in marketing, and Microsoft is terrible at marketing.