That is so true for just about everything nowadays. Instead of fixing the old stuff to work better, we create new stuff.
Innovation is nice and all, but it would be great if they wouldn't force you to use new features by removing the old ones.
On the other hand, new windows versions might look and feel a lot different, but at the very least they are mostly the same under the hood.
In fact, this goes so far that MS add undocumented features which were present in previous versions bug-to-bug compatible into new versions simply so that some old applications which rely on these undocumented features (which is really bad practice btw) keep working as expected.
Regardless, it would be really nice if a clean and minimal install of Windows 8 wouldn't require a whopping 8GB of disk space FFS.
And if it wouldn't run so slow on a low-end computer simply because it decides to have a ton of background tasks doing whatever they do.
This is especially true since SSDs put a constraint on disk space again and also because you might be running Win8 in a Virtual Machine which is not the powerful multi-core behemoth that your desktop computer is.
I was being a touch sarcastic mocking Microsoft, but what you said was a bit my point is the irony of it. I agree completely disk space requirements for XP in contrast to Vista, 7, 8, or 9 (not yet released for retail) are sickening and like you said they run a lot more garbage in the backround as well reducing your system memory a bit. Your defiantly right about the SSD's point.
I'm switching to Debian based CrunchBang Linux eventually is my plans since Microsoft has failed to address any of those issues plus they've done a lot of good and bad in terms of adding/removing of features some things are certainly good, but others not so much or questionable like removing hardware accelerated GDI was probably a outright bad decision. Direct X is actually finally becoming a sore point that might force me to move on from XP, but rather than hopping to the next Windows version I'm jumping off the ship to Linux and swimming to the iceberg with the Penguins.
I'm actually happy and excited about what both Android, SteamOS, OpenGL, and Nvidia are doing to really help strengthen and bolster Linux's foothold along with the continual open source improvements. Also excited about ARM moving into the desktop and server environment should be nice to see it someday in desktop PC's with desktop coolers instead of confined in heat constrained mobile devices give it some breathing room and space to really show what it's capable of doing when unleashed.
A lot of the commercial software companies aren't doing a great job of making best use of the hardware availible it seems like just look at smartphones and rooted roms like SlimBean/SlimKat I'm still making acceptable use of a Samsung Galaxy S with it's meager 512MB of ram in fact each new version of android OS rom released seems like it's helped improve it's usability a bit further. It's not as good as newer more modern phone, but it's way more usable than it was with it's stock rom developers have gotten much better usage out of the hardware over time.
I hate that big corporate monopoly hardware and software companies like Intel and Microsoft aka Wintel are playing possum with consumers neither one of them have really advanced a whole lot in like ten years pretty much only when their hands were forced a bit. At least both got caught and sued for their monopolies, but that was just a slap on the hand really.