Devin Coldewey describes Microsoft’s design problem: while Apple decisively maintains an interface that stays consistent across the operating system, Microsoft often goes back on previous usability decisions.
Microsoft needs to commit the way Apple commits. Sometimes that means leaving things behind, which has never been Windows’ strong suit. If they hope to retain their existing users and maybe even gain a few back from Apple, they need to do more than keep adding lacquer to their existing methods. That doesn’t mean just imitate Apple and make the same mistakes they do, but they need to fight on new grounds and make hard decisions. ARM, Metro, and WP7 were good but difficult decisions because they questioned previous decisions deemed successful — things which for many were useful! But when they let things like this cling like barnacles to their fresh new OS, they’re allowing their legacy to interfere with what needs to be done.