It seems like the days of MS supporting old versions of windows for years later is over. MS is so committed to getting you to move to Win8 (and give up your home computer**) that they've already dropped support for Win7 desktop features like the gadgets gallery that would have competed, directly with Win8 (providing the same features with a lower foot print).
If you try to visit the Win7 gadgets gallery http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/give-your-pc-some-personality-with-desktop-gadgets-from-windows-live-gallery, you are told that MS has already dropped support for "old tech" (their currently released product) to focus on new tech (new gadget OS win8).
It seems (bit surprise) MS has become an Apple follower. They want to emulate apple's success by providing the same product. An interface that's button like -- where they can sell apps, and get out of the expensive OS business and make lots of money selling cloud based vapor that you won't own and simply be a consumer of... That's what the majority wants anyway, developers are now (and have been for some time) a declining minority in the computer market, and gone are the days when companies would court and design products for them.
Today it's about designing for the consumer -- like any other consumer product, TV's phones, etc. And just like with them, do you see any offerings for development of apps for TV's? or OS's geared for such? The mere thought sounds ludicrous, no? That's were the computer market is headed -- at least for the home / consumer market.
There will still be a business server version, of Windows, likely, but the desktop, looks like it is being put down -- with support already dropping for things like 'gadgets' (apps) that directly compete (had the same functionality and are interchangeable with) today's "apps". Except, of course, that instead of being 'free' and coming with the OS, You'll pay 1-2$ for each of those 200-300 apps (assuming you wanted them all, which is unlikely), but each old os ability will be appified and sold for 5-10$.. even office. So while MS is advertising an intro upgrade price to Win8 for only $19, it's clear why -- it's only the door to their new store.
The last full featured version of Windows was WinXP, from there, they started
cutting and dividing the existing product into smaller pieces to sell separately so they could charge 7-10x what they charged for XP... with Win8, looks like they are doing another 10x multiplier.
It looks like MS ran out of ideas... and now can only resort to cannibalizing their old products into smaller pieces to sell separately in order to try to make more money....
I call for the US government to require MS to open the source for WinXP (and XP64) immedidate, and any of their products that they end support for within 1 year of ending support. If MS doesn't need the products anymore and they are 'obsolete', then obviously they have no need to keep the source proprietary anymore. Such would not apply to products where they are providing the same functionality in newer products, but such wasn't the case with XP (HW requirements in Win7 were much higher), and such isn't the case with Win8 (no desktop option).
It's time the software field was re-leveled, -- if it is becoming a commodity then old software should be moved into the public domain for the benefit of the public and society. It shouldn't be the case that a company is able to have so much influence over the country as to tell the country when they have to update and what is obsolete.