Windows has never provided an effective upgrade path and I don't have a problem with that. That's simply their choice and as has been said a niche market for other companies to fill. They lie to you about how seamless the upgrade is, and well once shame on them, twice shame on you. This time, less lies. Can only be a good thing, but still lies. Maybe next time they will recommend a third party solution or even go as far as to bundle one.
I shifted camps, though work still means I have one foot firmly in MS land so I have daily experience and just laugh nowadays at Vista (in the insane kinda way). I can only continue to hold out hope that Win 7 fixes enough of my daily issues to make my working life a little more enjoyable again.
As for my home computing life well
It went from this. (thanks @ryan)
a) the windows way:
1 - Locate software and download or go to shop and buy, or buy online and wait for delivery.
2 - Enter credit card details somewhere along the line.
3 - Attempt to install.
4 - Turn off anti-virus software to stop it blocking installation.
5 - Spend 3 hours locating a compatible version of software (patch, update).
6 - Spend 2 more hours finding downloads of obscure tools on Microsoft Downloads site to allow installation (MSXML6, VB6 runtime, VC runtime, MSI installer 3.x, Direct X 9.0c).
7 - Install software
8 - Reboot
9 - Spend 1 hour hacking the registry to change back or remove settings the installing software overwrote.
10 - Discover that it doesn't really run on my hardware anyway because I don't quite have the right drivers to support the right version of directx and I can't find the information anyway to tell me exactly what should be the right version so randomly install as many items as I can possibly find in the vain hope that one of them might work and hope the wrong ones uninstall if actually given any kind of option to do so.
11 - Find updated drivers to support hardware.
12 - Update anti virus and anti spyware tools to stop them false positiving on the newly installed software.
13 - Convince windows defender I know what I am doing and this is actually software I want to run.
14 - Go and make dinner and come back to it tomorrow after work.
b) the *nix way:
1 - Open package manager running as normal privilege user
2 - Enter root password
3 - Select software package
4 - Accept dependencies automatically chosen.
5 - Wait for it to download from a trusted source with PGP signing and install.
6 - Enjoy.
This of course does not apply if you have some specialist software requirements and that software is only supplied on a particular platform. Whether you are a corporate or home user is irrelevant. You're stuck to what is known as vendor tie-in in that case and good luck with that. I hope you find a better supplier.