Windows 10, AKA the Windows nobody asked for
Back in the olden days (i.e. Windows 9x), the only thing users complained about was the stability. The bi-weekly reinstallation ritual of Windows 98 was one of those things that drove me to try out this newfangled 'Linux' thing (SuSE 6.3, retail copy) back in the Year of the Linux Desktop (rev. 1998). While struggling through its approach towards 'user-friendliness', an acquaintance slipped me a totally-legal copy of Windows 2000.
Windows 2000 was amazing. On the same Celeron 400 system with 64 MB of RAM that had seen Windows 98 SE whimper and whine and crash, Windows 2000 ran like a dream. Stable, reliable, low memory usage and snappy, while keeping the same modern Win98 UI with a few improvements. I loved it so much that I kept using Windows 2000 well beyond XP's release, only upgrading when I saw how much smoother things like IME input in WinXP were. WinXP actually using DMA transfers instead of PIO during the copying of installation files to disk was also welcome.
Windows XP was okay after switching off the horror show by opting for 'Classic' mode and pretending it was just Windows 2000. Using Windows 2003 (32 & 64-bit) was also very agreeable, using both on a number of server systems.
Windows 7 I started with back in 2009 already, and after correcting its major flaws (showing every single ZIP file in a folder as its own folder in File Explorer, and fixing the start menu with Classic Shell), I am still using it today on a number of systems. Windows 7 still looks like Win2k, just shinier and rounder and more modern.
Windows 8 I didn't want to use, and apparently nobody else did either, considering that it got mostly ignored, scorned and laughed at until it died a quick death when Win10 got released.
What I'm getting out of all this is that nobody really was asking for big UI changes in Windows. Low-level, technical improvements in kernel space are awesome, and definitely clean up some other warts while one is at it. But who asked to 'fix' the Control Panel by restricting it to one view in a monochrome, single-page view? Who asked for Aero Glass to be removed? Who was hating on rounded corners, drop-shadows and other UI elements that made it possible to see where one window starts and one ends? Why does Windows 10 by default look like an early sketch of Windows 3.1 in monochrome, with most of the UI window lines erased?
I run Windows 10 on a new laptop, but I had to mod the heck out of its UI to make it somewhat palatable. Technological improvements and weekly breakage aside, the one thing that makes me loathe Windows 10 is simply that it looks hideous, breaks everything about the Windows UI that nobody complained about since Windows 95 and generally just makes using the OS more miserable while trying to cram the idea that one has to register with Microsoft and be logged into the Microsoft mainframe while using one's Personal Computer down everyone's throat.
So yeah, Windows 10 isn't my cup of tea. But I guess it's the future? The bleak, monochrome, rectangular, dystopian future, with Microsoft bots zipping overhead to keep an eye on us Alpha testers, that is.
When did Microsoft stop caring about us Windows users?