I am really sick of the mindset that everything needs to be "purdy at all costs", forsaking functionality and customizability if necessary in order to achieve this "purdy-ness". (You can probably thank Apple for this)
I do not like desktop icons. I do not have any. My desktop is usually covered by open windows so I rarely ever see it. It is inconvenient to go to my desktop to launch applications. I use my desktop as a personal message board, pinning sticky notes to myself and an assortment of gauges and widgets that supply info I don't need to see every moment of every day, but still needs to remain handy.
It is inconvenient to go to the start menu and go scrolling through huge menus looking for the app I want to launch. I do not have a mere 10 apps installed on my computer...I have many. Just in games alone, I have over 50 that have shortcuts on my taskbar. That Win8 start screen is great for people that don't have much. Can you imagine scrolling through 100's of "pages" to find the one app you want to use?
A lot of time, thought, and work went into setting up my desktop to be as productive as possible. 12 years to be exact. I resent any company that takes a few months to undo all that I have done over the course of many years, in order to appeal to people that should be using a TV rather than a computer.
The apps I have installed often have a collection of files that go with them, in their own folder, which I do not keep in "My Documents".
For convenience sake, I keep shortcuts to things I use often on my taskbar, sorted into nice sections by purpose, with the folders of related files located right next to the shortcut for the app they are used with.
It is faster and easier for me to pop out my taskbar when I need it and go right to the shortcut I want. My hand instinctively knows where everything is. It is so much a part of myself now, that I am lost when using another OS in which I can't have a taskbar arranged the way I want. It is the one thing that keeps me coming back to Windows and prevents me from adopting another OS full time.
I hated the introduction of themes in XP because besides looking ugly and childish, it took up more space on the taskbar, causing less shortcuts to fit per row.
I hated the removal of the ability to have additional shortcut bars on other edges of the desktop, introduced in Win7. (saw this on my dad's PC and decided not to upgrade till I found a solution to the problem)
I like the simplicity and complete customizability of the classic Win9x theme.
If it means not upgrading in order to keep my desktop functional to me, then so be it.
If it means choosing another OS to accomplish what I want, then so be it.
If Microsoft continues to attempt to cater to Mac users and idiots that can't use a computer, they risk alienating people like me that have taken the time to get to know their OS and what it is capable of, and customized their desktop in ways the average person has not.
We are not all going to jump to using tablets, forsaking our desktop computers. We are not all going to move all our data to the cloud. We are not all going to live in our browsers. We are not all going to stop being productive producers and switch to being happy little idiot consumers that just need a few icons we can select with our chubby fingers to view what someone else has created (most likely created on a different OS designed for productivity).