re: Windows 8: The Legacy Apps Question
The one thing that would make Windows the absolute king of computing, in the whole world, would be seamless compatibility with XP, that is, the ability to run XP applications natively and seamlessly. For the common users and businesses, especially businesses, everything revolves around XP, and they cannot upgrade without spending many thousands of dollars, and in some cases, millions. Until they address that issue, nobody will want to upgrade, at least, not in a large scale. Emulators are not the answer; they don't have a good feel, and they are slow and buggy. The only people who use the newest Windows are the new entrants, those who buy a new computer that comes with the current version preinstalled. Microsoft doesn't seem to understand that, or doesn't want to.
The reason this was not a big issue with the older Windows, before NT, was that businesses were not as dependent on Windows as they are now. Windows NT, and then XP, expanded the Windows user base explosively, especially in the business world, and now the industry all around the world has billions of dollars invested in computing systems. They cannot trash them and start anew with something totally incompatible.
If newer versions of Windows had backward compatibility, we would always upgrade to the newest version as soon as it hit the stores, regardless of the price, the way we were doing until Vista came up.