Why did people stick with windows - it wasn't because the tech was better, OS/2 was better tech than windows for years, and then by the time OS/2 was dead we had a linux kernal good enough to be counted as better.
So why did I stick with windows - 2 reasons - Office and Games.
Office was the killer app for owning the desktop - if you can lock your corporate customer in to windows via a good enough set of office tools then you start to own the mindshare - you use a windows machine at work, if you want / need to work at home they buy a windows machine there with the same tools (remember we're talking back in the days of windows 3.11 and '95 - when laptops were pretty much outside the reach of joe public but a desktop was something that was possible if you were perpared to save for it).
As soon as you have a critical mass of PCs running dos / windows in the hands of the public then they are going to want to game on it - and for years the PC was where the games were at - and you can name the killer games - Doom, Quake, Unreal, etc etc. All of them either predated the consoles, or were a quantum leap ahead of what the console could deliver in the way of graphics or the ability to play against real opponents on a network or eventually across the internet. The current generation of consoles are the first to successfully compete and beat the PC in this space, before the PS/3 or Xbox360 if you wanted to play against a real opponent that wasn't sat on the same couch as you then the PC was your only option.
Gaming was always the driver, every upgrade I've paid out my own money for has been because of a game I wanted to play - be it the next GFx card, or having to go to a new version of windows because the new version of DIrectX made things look better and wasn't available on the last version.
Apple did the smart thing - they tied themselves to a niche market with the media creators (photoshop / video editing etc) and so influenced the people writing your TV shows and style magazines - which has paid off for them in the long run by association - the common man sees Apple still as something hip and trendy, and as an aspirational piece of hardware. If I buy an Apple product I'll be as trendy as all the beautiful people in the media.
Either way both companies invested in the user experience - they ended up with products that 'just worked' and were 'good enough'. You didn't feel you had to have a degree to use their products - they were for everyone.
And then you have linux - and I tried linux several times over the years wanting it to succeed on the desktop,and it never did because it was too hard to get it to actually work in the first place, and when you did get it to work it was either missing the business applications to allow it to talk to everyone else in the office, and it was missing the games that made you want to use it at home.
But what frustrates me most is that we still have people talking about when linux will conquer the desktop. The desktop is dead. Wake up and smell the roses. The computer everyone reaches for these days is their phone. It games, it does social media, it surfs the internet, it's always with you and guess what - it's running linux.