Why I won't be buying Windows 8.1*

{* Unless I buy a computer that has it on!)

Desktop versions of Windows (ignoring Windows NT/2000)..

Windows 3.0 thumbdown
  1. Clunky and buggy. Died quickly. Replaced quickly by...
Windows 3.1, 3.11 for Workgroups thumbup
  1. Worked reasonably well. Went on for a long time till 1995, support ended in 2001
Windows 95 thumbdown
1995. Was a huge leap forward from UI and filesystem basis. However it was rushed out and was quite unstable. Replaced quckly in 1998 by...
Windows 98, 98SE thumbup
  1. What windows 95 should have been. SE was pretty stable and lasted ages until 2001 when XP came to the desktop.
Windows ME thumbdown
2000. All the bad bits of Windows 98 & 2000 and few of the good bits. Generally regarded as a mistake, it was slow and unstable and broke driver support for many devices. Largely ignored as an upgrade version.
Windows XP thumbup
2001. Microsoft managed at last to merge the stability of NT with the user-friendly of '98. If you disabled the cosmetic graphical enhancements, pretty small and fast too. Microsoft dictated upgraded hardware from '98 but many got by upgrading their 98 to XP without issues. Thirteen years later it still refuses to die despite the many efforts of Microsoft to kill it off by stabbing it in the back. Still on a reported 27% of the worlds computers.
Windows Vista thumbdown
2006. Released among much yahoo but regarded a disaster. Being a complete re-write basic operations had issues and required many updated to fix, for instance, file copying. Vista consummated Microsoft's whoredom to the music and film industry by introducing aggressive DRM management that caused problems even for legitimate users of copyrighted media. Driver signing was introduced that broke compatibility for older devices unless their manufacturers were prepared to rework drivers. Driver signing was also a kick in the nuts to hobbyist developers (for instance, open source developers) who couldn't afford the $400/yr to pay for the certificates. Replaced in less than 3 years by...
Windows 7 thumbup
2009. What Vista should have been. "Dechromed" it runs as fast and stably as XP, despite being a much bigger install. Pretty good. Replaced 3 years later by.
Windows 8, 8.1 thumbdown
2012. Released to much critical derision of its "Metro" interface that made desktops try to be tablets, and did neither particularly well. 8.1 addressed some of the issues, enabling "desktop mode" to be selected by preference. A HUGE operating system requiring 20GB of disk to install. It's actually not bad for the desktop, if you switch off as much of Metro as possible, and on Tablets it kind of works. My big problem with it is the UI is incomprehensible, with key features hidden (e.g. the "charms") until you click in the right place. I still can't find the shutdown option on the VM I use for windows testing at work without ctl-alt-del to logout and shutdown from the login screen. Perhaps I'm a dinosaur.
Windows 9. ? thumbup ?
predicted 2015. Going by the fairly reliable Good/bad cycle of windows releases, this will be a good one. I can wait.

Version 3 updated 12 May 2014, 11:32 a.m.