Sense of familiarity and a zone of comfort are two sentiments close to the hearts of a lot of Windows users. It is from here their user experience builds. Microsoft had retained that at most times, making it easier to cajole users into upgrading. Windows 98 to XP (forgetting the likes of ME which were basically disasters) was pretty much a visual change, while it retained the same skeleton as the earlier OS. Windows XP to Vista, for all its faults, did not change the structure much. Same for Vista to Windows 7. People knew where their documents were, how to get to the list of installed programs and how to get to the control panel to make changes, for example.
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