Microsoft is moving in a slow pattern of progressive improvements so Windows 9 will be the showstopper. If they did all the cool transparency stuff and a complete UI overhaul to 8.1 Update 1, Windows 9 wouldn't be that big of a deal in terms of being the attention getter. I think we all know that with MS's resources, they could have beautified Update 1 more than they did, and could have added back features which didn't make it over from Windows 7. It seems that Windows 9 could be a do or die moment for Microsoft. What this means, is that it needs to succeed in every way possible. It needs to conform and bend to everybody's standards, to prevent the potential caliginous and ambiguous fate that Windows faces. The ball is in Microsoft's court, and it's 100% obvious that they are moving in a direction of listening to customers better.
Linux and BSD have their own problems and shortcomings. Every OS has its strong and weak points, and when we focus on the weak spots, we hope those weak spots can only improve. With Windows 8.x, we didn't improve; we just went sideways. As someone once wrote: "It seems to me that Microsoft has always been a bit out of touch with their customers."
-Windows Registry needs to become deprecated; it's turned into a complete mess and I don't feel secure knowing it's there. http://rwmj.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/why-the-windows-registry-sucks-technically/
-The app store has a kill switch in it, and I don't agree with another company having remote control over my system. MS has purposefully been silent on this issue because of the obvious lack of popularity, and potential customer backlash if publicized widely. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-02-17/the-kill-switch-comes-to-the-pc
-ReFS doesn't sound all that hot. Where's the competition with EXT4, Btrfs and ZFS? http://blog.zorinaq.com/?e=74
-Do not ask a myriad of personal information-related questions upon install. A user should put the DVD in, enter some very basic information, and the installer should go from A-Z without all the annoyances currently found in 8.x. Do not make it difficult for the user to get around creating a Microsoft account. We understand why this "feature" is there, but foisting only alienates.
-Better organization of system files. On a Linux system, libraries are neatly organized in their appropriate folders. On Windows, system files are scattered about.
-Allow the user to lock down Windows right out of the box just as Linux is, with a simple dialogue box. Passwords, no root access, etc.