Re: now I'm really worried
Like you, I'm also a desktop power user; as a programmer, graphic designer and 3D modeller it's not unusual for me to have Cinema4D, Photoshop, DAZ Studio, Notepad++ and a browser all open on my 4 monitors all at the same time. With the Windows 8 regression to the "one fullscreeen app at a time" interfaces replacing the windowed interface, it looks like I'd lose that capability. And as you can imagine, I also have terabytes of images, 3D models and source files on my hard drives.
No way am I trusting all that work - my life's work - to the cloud, or to a SaaS setup, to start with. But that's where the modern mentality seems to be going: no more once-off payments for your software, and no more bought-and-paid for storage either. In the future, everything is to be stored in the cloud, under the control of others, where you will be forced to pay and pay and pay or lose everything. Your computer is to be remotely controlled and subject to the whims of whichever company runs the OS for it - MS, Google, Apple, whoever. The only software you will be allowed to install is what 's permitted in their walled gardens. It's all abut taking control of your computer, your work, and ultimately your life.
Then there's my music and movie collection, which I've painstakingly built over the years. All this is now to be set up in the cloud and streamed to your system on demand - a set up which makes it really easy to rewrite history, restrict access by country, profile your entertainment tastes, delete an old favourite forever, and enables a pay-per-view/pay-per-listen model, in which nothing is ever really under your own control anymore.
So the way I look at it is this: I've become an upgrade refusenik from here on out. My heels are dug in, and the line has been drawn - THIS far, NO further. The version of Cinema4D I have (R12) is easily capable of photorealistic renders, it can do cloth simulation, hair, grass, trees, character modelling, the works - and it can render a scene so realistically it's indistinguishable from a photograph. The version of Photoshop I have also has more features than I'll ever need. The software I have now is more than capable of anything I'll want to be able to do in future. Consider - if my raytracing software can render to photorealism, why will I ever need anything more? In the past, it always fell short of photorealism, which was the Holy Grail of 3D modelling, but now that's been achieved. And with it's multicore support, this software is now set up handle however many cores I can throw at it in future: 4, 8, 32, whatever becomes available.
Likewise, processor speeds, memory capacities, hard drive sizes, and monitor resolutions have all plateaued. I've been running 3.2 GHz cores for 8 years now, although in that time I've gone from single-core to dual-core to 4-core machines. Drive sizes have stalled in the low TB range for about the same time, and monitors have been running at 1920 x 1200 / 1080 for the same time as well. So it looks to me like the technology has finally matured and stabilised, and improvements are now incremental rather than revolutionary.
Windows 7 x64, which I now have, can handle more than enough hard drive space, processor cores, and RAM to satisfy my requirements for years to come. I can upgrade my hardware, and continue running the same software because the software is now geared to handle the upgrades, and it does all I want.
So I can see myself still using this same software in 10, 20, even 30 years' time. Because I've reached my ideal goals. Because the technology curve has flattened out. Because I WILL NOT hand over control of my life's work to power-crazed corporations hell-bent on raping my wallet with rentism and taking control of every aspect of my data and computing devices.