"Last century called. They want their UI back, please"
I'm gonna have to say no, last century. You can't have it back. How about a nice, shiny, "stylish" flat UI? We have far more of those than we want here in the 21st century. Take 'em all, if you want!
The snarky comments and cheap shots about the "dated" interface demonstrate that the author of the piece has fallen into the trap of thinking that a UI is meant to be pretty and stylish, not functional and useful. That's the kind of thinking that has gotten us to the place we're in now, where UIs are unintuitive, lacking information scent, wasteful of screen resources with excessive white space, and more difficult to figure out and use than they were 20 years ago, with a lot more searching around and drilling down through menus than should be required. Aren't things in tech supposed to get better over time, not worse?
Back in the Windows 95 days, MS put a great deal of effort into getting the UI just right, with lots of testing with users with varying degrees of familiarity with PCs at every stage. Windows 95 was truly a quantum leap in UI excellence over Windows 3.1 because of all of that testing, and you know what? People haven't changed in the 23 years since then. Evolution doesn't happen in one generation! We, as a species, still process what our eyes tell our brains in the same way we did in the 90s. We're still a species that has spent most of its existence interacting with three-dimensional objects in space, and our brains are hardwired to be able to process cues to that effect quickly and accurately. In the past, it meant the difference between understanding that a threat was very close or a little more distant... the difference between living and dying, sometimes.
UI design reflected that observation until very recently. We've heard the rationalizations about how everyone's familiar with GUIs now, so we don't need the skeuomorphic "training wheels" anymore, but that's flat wrong. Skeuomorphic UIs were never about being training wheels. They were about providing data about what actions are possible in a way that humans are hardwired to understand intuitively. Flat interfaces require more cognitive effort, and it takes more time to look through the options and remember what means what purely by rote, with no cues given from the UI itself. You might say that our processing of skeuomorphic UIs is hardware-accelerated in our brains, while flat UIs are strictly rendered in software, which takes more time and distracts us from the task at hand (as timeslicing is ever more difficult for a biological brain than it is for an electronic one).
To this day, I consider the Windows 2000 UI to be the gold standard as far as UI design goes. Windows 2000 looks, of course, exactly like those images that the author Richard Speed chortles and guffaws over. To each his own, of course, but that was arguably the best UI ever designed by Microsoft, and I've yet to see one outside of Microsoft that tops it. It's part of why Windows XP was so popular... many of us immediately switched to Classic the moment we installed XP on any PC. I just went into the services and disabled the theme service.
I seldom use Windows anymore, for obvious reasons. If Windows 10 is the future of Windows, then Windows has no future with me. In the increasingly rare instances when I do use Windows, I use 8.1 with a Classic-type skeuomorphic theme that (by design) looks very much like the ReactOS one (and it would look even more like it if not for the technical limitations of the built-in Windows theme engine). It's taken many hours of my time to learn how to edit and create Windows .msstyles themes, then actually to do it, but eradicating the hideous flatness (and the white backgrounds on everything) was critical if I was to keep using Windows-- which, as it turns out, I'm not.