Like the millions of other people, when vista came out i decided to stay with xp...
You know in 2003, and 2004 windows 98 was the world most popular OS right? people resisted the move to XP, people didn't like it.
That's three or four years after release. Vista didn't get the time for people to adopt, and the support for the older OS wasn't pulled away like it was with other OS's before.
Support for windows 98 was pulled, and this forced a lot of people (especially businesses to upgrade), most businesses chose to upgrade to XP because whilst windows 2000 was still supported at the time, it was older, more clunky, didn't have support for dos mode/compatibility...
I honestly think that most businesses would still be using XP now instead of windows 7. people would still be demanding XP instead of windows 7 (in fact this did happen, that's why support was extended twice for XP, and why the sales time was extended for OEM sellers!)
Businesses drive the direction of OS's that people use, (not computer people, who are able to make their own choices, I'm talking about the people with only basic skills.)
When your work upgrades, rather than flit between two different versions, you just want to use the same at home as at work.
And businesses don't just upgrade on a whim. they need their hands forced, and MS do this by withdrawing support for older products.)
Do you have any idea how much it costs to roll out a new OS to all workstations in a company, perhaps worldwide? how much re-training/familiarisation with a new OS costs?
If 7 hadn't come out, MS would have still dropped support for their ten year old OS! then businesses would have been forced to use Vista.
before anyone says that they decide the direction of their IT, sure of course you do, you and your small business can choose to run whatever you like.
indeed switch to whatever version of windows you like. or linux.
But bigger businesses, and different industries have rules regarding the use of vendor supported software (SOX or FSA regulations for example both specify this.)