I see this forum thread about Microsoft being "doomed" and even before I read the first post, what came to my mind almost instantly was that one old episode of "The Simpsons", where a couple of cartoon producers were trying to determine what 'new' things the kids wanted to see in the "Itchy & Scratchy" cartoon. How does this relate to the topic at hand? Well, I see Microsoft as that one guy who calls the kids stupid for not knowing what they want, thereby causing Ralph Wiggum to cry and turn his indicator dial to red instead of green (indicating his disapproval).
Source video here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h29-sftMGl0
Just like "Itchy & Scratchy", and heck, even "The Simpsons", Windows has gotten stale. For the past 15+ years, Microsoft has been acquiring smaller companies and copying other innovations, I'd argue, likely in an effort to come up with something that its incredibly large user base could buy into, rather than pioneering in new inventions, or truly original, innovative things. And just like the "improvements" made to "Itchy & Scratchy" and even "The Simpsons", the "improvements" made to Windows in the form of "Vista" and "8" only ended up driving more people away... though seriously, i can only speak for myself as I refuse to upgrade my Vista-based HTPC... it came with Vista when I bought it new in early 2007 and hasn't given my any trouble ever since (software-wise), so I'd rather not mess with something that ain't broken..... at least not until Microsoft decides to stop issuing updates for it (at which point, I'm going "all-Linux Mint").
Furthermore, it's not just Windows. You look at Microsoft's other products like the MS Office suite. Sure, many companies and schools still require that their workers and students (respectively) know how to use those things. But in the end, all that matters is being able to save your files in the most widely-recognized file formats (.txt, .pdf, .mp4, .mp3, .ogg, .png, .jpg... etc.). Does one really need Microsoft products to work with those types of files (easily)? Maybe 20+ years ago, a Linux novice might have said 'yes'. It's a different story today. There's this one Australian kid who was trying to see if he could completely replace/ditch Windows 7 (supposedly the "best" iteration of Windows since XP) for Ubuntu 12.10. For the most part, he was able to do everything on Linux that a basic user could do on Windows: print his documents, make a movie, transfer files to and from his smartphone, play a Windows game.
Source video here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuTv92LOy1U
I guess, the only thing I'd really bother keeping Windows for would be for games and other stubborn pieces software that absolutely refuses to run ("well" or "at all") on WINE, or for situations where gaming or anything graphics-related suffers... simply because the Linux-based drivers just suck compared to their Windows counterparts. Well... also for those cases where there are no streamlined, easy-to-use, Linux alternatives to certain Windows software and possibly for those rare times when the Linux apps/components I depend highly upon just seem to break for some dumb reason after an update/upgrade *cough*MESA*cough*.