Just a long line of (arrogant) mistakes from MS
We all took to XP because it was a dependable, reasonably reliable OS to replace 95/98/2000/NT ... and it still is.
Then they brought out Vista. Vista didn't support all the existing hardware ("Not out fault", MS). It was buggy and resource-hungry. The effect on productivity & cost meant the business world largely ignored it. Only consumers were duped. If you don't like the look of the bus, wait for the next one.
Windows 7 arrived. A much better OS than Vista, but still didn't address the XP legacy ("Not our fault", MS). With a bit of fiddling, it can be made to look enough like XP that there isn't a signifcant re-learning effort. But, oh dear, there's still the hardware issues ("There isn't a driver for your hardware? Tough - buy a new computer", MS). And suddenly, some of my applications won't run (even in any compatibility or virtual mode).
For at least 90% of business tasks, an older PC with XP is more than adequate to do the job, especially with so much stuff moving online.
Next, Windows 8 comes along ... huge interface changes ... the world is up in arms ... MS backs down (a bit). Why do they want to change the look so dramatically (with no 'legacy' skin), when they should be concentrating on functionality, security, and making it easy for folk to upgrade?
All the while (Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8), the world is in an extended economic slow down. Result? People don't want to spend on new kit, the installation costs, and re-training staff to do the same thing with a different version of Windows.
Everyone leading MS's marketing since 2007 should be forced to use Windows 2 (in 640kb). Or even MS-DOS.
Instead of leading us by the hand, helping us move from one version to the newest, removing obstacles (surely what any company would do if it cared about its customers) ... MS have at every stage ignore its customer base and tried to force us to move up and buy again.
It's sad there isn't a viable alternative - I'd love to install a non-MS OS which would run all the apps I've accumulated and rely on.
Do we use XP? Yes, and Windows 7. Are we going to rush out and upgrade? Oh, we can't - we have to buy new kit, each with a new OS, and new versions of Office (and a few other things). This is an expense we cannot afford, not at this time.
Are we worried XP is no longer going to be supported? Not really. We protect ourselves and we're careful what sites we visit and emails we open. It's not as if moving to Windows 8 would improve our security more that just a bit.
Dear Microsoft - if you'd like to talk to us about your marketing and customer care strategies, our rates are very reasonable.