[quote]honestly, this has been the case since XP
I disagree. I think the case for upgrading from XP to Windows 7 is extremely strong.
Windows 7 is lightyears more secure, more functional, more refined, easier to use, and FAR more stable...
The ONLY reason to not upgrade from XP to Win7 is if the hardware is so ancient and the graphics card so old and lame, that it couldn't handle it. And such a PC would have to be at least 8 years old, as anything sold in the last 8 years can pretty much run Win just fine.
[quote]Microsoft has been doing a terrible job in justifying moving to 8. Yes, you can disable Metro if you don't like it, but then... what's the point? Is there an increase in speed? Productivity?
You're right. There's less of a case here to upgrade existing hardware to Win8, and MS has been doing a terrible job of explaining why anyone would want to.
Let me try:
1) It's significantly faster. MUCH faster boot-up times, sleep times, shut-down times, and resume-from-sleep times. It's dramatically faster in many ways.
2) If you have multiple Win8 systems, and log in with the new Microsoft ID, you have a lot of great features including transparent syncing of settings and data, and easy access to any file on any PC you own, no matter where you are (via SkyDrive and a feature that allows you to fetch files from any PC you manage through your single Microsoft ID account)
3) New features including easier/better backup ("File History", sorta like OS X's "Time Machine" without the glitzy graphics), and improvements to Windows Explorer (built in support for *.iso files for virtual mounting of CDRoms that have been ripped, especially useful in ultrabooks that lack a CDRom drive) and built in support for USB for faster file copies, etc.
4) there are a ton of little improvements, any one of which isn't all that, but which together can make using the PC better... new networking stack and controls makes mobile use easier & it's easier to monitor network usage, for example; if you have multiple displays on your desktop, there are improvements to multi-display support, including wallpaper and taskbar enhancements and new options there.
Windows 8 is a far easier sell on new hardware that was designed with Win8 in mind (touch screens, large trackpads, new hardware that Win8 supports like compasses & LTE networking & accelerometers & NFC.
I upgraded my Win7 desktop & laptop to Win8 for $40 each, and have no complaints. I like it a lot, once I configured it to suit me and my hardware (i.e. I don't have touch anything, so I reconfigured the "default" programs to launch the desktop versions instead of metro versions when I click on files or videos or music, for example).
It does take a little getting use to, and yes, you have to read or have someone give you tips at first, because some of the features are NOT obvious until you actually see them in use (like closing a metro app... without being told, you'd never figure it out, but once you're told, it's fast and easy and nothing you have to try and remember).