Re: Microsoft was insanely jealous of Apple's ecosystem
Win 10 is awful. The only reason that people accept it is because it replaced the even more awful WIn 8.
Win 8's problems, though, are generally of the skin-deep variety. It takes some effort, but with things like Classic Shell (which should keep working since 8.x has not been in active development in years, even though it just this year exited the mainstream support period), Old New Explorer, install_wim_tweak, Old New Explorer, and a custom theme of your choice, Windows 8 can become pretty good. I am a stickler for the traditional UI, and Win 8.1 is the only version of Windows I still have installed on anything I use on a daily basis.
I don't see Win 10 as being an improvement over Windows 8.1, really. Over the original Windows 8, sure, but even then, Classic Shell and the other programs would have fixed it all up nicely. I don't see how the Win 10 start menu, the disjointed mess that it is, is any better than the full-screen version of the same in Windows 8. I hate them both, but the 8.1 version is somewhat less bothersome to me. With that, the return of the start button, and the ability to boot straight to the desktop, I don't see how 10 is really any better than 8.1. They both stink pretty bad, but only one can feasibly be corrected with aftermarket tools.
You still get to turn updates off on 8.1; no silliness with "metered connections," where MS promises to only download updates if it thinks you really really need them (so it's still their choice), or active hours (which you can't set to 24 hours a day, as I would; you must still allow MS to have some time). You can defer updates with some versions of Windows 10, but even then MS may introduce a "bug" that causes it to go ahead and install feature updates even when they are in deferral, as reportedly happened with 1709 four separate times.
Of course, if you use 10 Home, you don't get that option at all, so stop complaining, you beta tester drudge. Get back to work! We don't pay you to not test Windows! (Well, actually, we don't pay you at all. You pay us! But still, get back to work.)
Windows 8.x never had the permanent beta quality arising from "Windows as a Service," nor did it ever have the more than an hour of down time whenever it damn well felt like installing an upgrade you don't even want, during which time I really hope you didn't need your PC for anything important, 'cause you're not getting to use it. "Windows as a Service" is the worst Windows 10 "feature" by a long shot.
Windows 8.1 has the abominable Settings app like Windows 10 does, but unlike 10, most of the functionality of Control Panel is still intact, so you can consign Settings to oblivion and still be able to do things. The few things that 8.1 did move to Settings can easily be done by alternative non-Metro means. You can't do this in Win 10; the UWP garbage is just unavoidable. I never see any Metro anything in my 8.1; every app (including Store) is long gone, and they haven't come back. I haven't seen Settings in the better part of a year, and I don't need it.
Win 10 is worse by far than Windows 8.1, and had 10 not come along, 8.x would have continued to evolve in the right direction. Win 8.2 was in the planning stages, and was codenamed "Threshold" at the time that the previews were published in the tech press. Win 8.2 would have had more desktop-friendly features, including the option for the Windows 7 style start menu. MS had miscalculated badly how 8 was going to be received, but back then they still had the crazy idea that they should deliver what customers want to improve the adoption rate. Then Nadella came along, with his new "friendlier" Microsoft, and the idea was to make Windows into something that obviously would not be well-received, but to force-feed it to us by virtue of their monopoly status. So friendly!
Of course, "Threshold" mutated into something terrible after that. There would be no Windows 8.2; now the "Threshold" project was repurposed to be the first release of 10, and the Windows 7 style start menu was history. So was the idea that the PC's owner should have any control over his machine. So was my future in the Windows ecosystem...