re: 8 Ways Microsoft Could Save Windows 8
Showing my age, I started in computers before Jobs & Gates even spoke. From the beginnings of MS, the compatibility issues abounded, as did support. Everyone in the data field put up with them, as it was "emerging technology".
As MS grew, they often moved faster in their development than their support staff could keep up, let alone handle the backlog of previous product. Nothing has changed. Every new product announced, brought on more tentativeness of having quality and timely support from their "ongoing" customer-users.
Each time, MS would announce release of the next great 'thing', they would tout it as reliable, self-reliant, more customer centric, and more easily configured than the previous version. We all found that was not the case. We also knew that support=$$ paid out. (Several companies modeled their support pay schedules after MS.) Those support calls were fairly frequent (especially with small businesses who employed novice or unfamiliar users to the ever-changing technology).
Their one product that no one, including this author, thought would last and be the most stable product ever, was MS WinXP, following SP1. It became the de-facto MS product for business - stable for both network and daily computing. MS support still obtained notable profits from their support structure; however, the business and private sectors also finally had a solid platform to work from.
Slide up the time-chart to just prior to present day with products Win7, MS Office 2007 & 2010 (both 32 & 64 bit versions) with so many conflicts in installation, migration, co-operation of peripheral devices, operation, & recovery (to name just a few). Products that should work out of the box didn't.
MS Support heavily used the WWW and would wait silently for advanced/expert users, who would provide answers (work-arounds) through their daily usage of the products. MS support pages would actually use forums vs. their previously standard support pages to provide answers via "threads". Both standard & expert users were/are frustrated. Their expensive purchases (aside from the software which we all know included upgraded hardware) didn't work out of the box yet again.
Without trust, MS has nothing. And if that singular path does not improve, they are destined to become yet another Woolly Mammoth...