About 10 years ago, Microsoft saw both advances in touch-screen technology, and increasing acceptance of what was once regarded as being on the fringes of nerdom (e.g. laptop/tablet computers, computer games, etc.) become mainstream. Microsoft then decided to take advantage of the times and worked out the following:
(1) (Ab)use its near-monopoly power by creating an user interface that spans across all devices. This was achieved by introducing Windows 8 and then Windows 10, so that customers saw the same thing regardless of the device (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, Xbox, etc.) being used. But Windows 10 is a nasty mess. It tries to be everything to everyone, and at the same time manages to stitch together one big mess. I don't want colorful blocks, animation, changing view modes, Cortana (ironically named after a video game character who turns out to be evil and tries to take over the universe... hmmm), or all the other fancy spyware for that matter.
(2) Make customers pay in smaller increments, but a larger amount overall, for stuff that is pennies on the dollar for Microsoft itself. This is the “cloud” software that Microsoft peddles, which is just a fancy name for storage space like a virtual USB flash drive, but only accessible through an internet connection, and then forcing customers pay regularly for it. So a customer who once could have bought a legitimate version of Microsoft Office for $99 now has to pay $99 each year to use it. Yeah, you get 5 installation licenses, but how many people have 5 computers to install it on? And God forbid you try to buy a 6th computer in the meantime. Besides, by year 6, Microsoft is still laughing all the way to the bank.
(3) Force customers to upgrade and adopt (1) and (2) through planned obsolescence – here, by eventually refusing to support older versions of its most popular software, Windows and Office.
The carrot (or hook, line and sinker, if you will) is the “free” Windows 10 upgrade. But if you think Microsoft is looking out for you and trying to help, then I've got a bridge to sell you.
See, if Windows 10 is so great, why is Microsoft so intent on giving it away for free? In fact, why is Microsoft tricking customers into upgrading even if the customer is trying to back out? Sounds like a case of really sleazy salesmanship; the market, of course, has responded appropriately.