The New York Times is running an article on why they think Windows is so slow. They boil it down to one key factor - legacy support - and they hold up Apple as an example of a company willing to make hard decisions around legacy support in order to provide a better product. From the article: 'Windows is now so big and onerous because of the size of its code base, the size of its ecosystem and its insistence on compatibility with the legacy hardware and software, that it just slows everything down ... That's why a company like Apple has such an easier time of innovation.
In its never-ending attempt to ad mouth Microsoft, Slashdot (and NYT) simply provides reasons why Microsoft is successful and Apple isn’t quite so successful.
It’s also part of the reason that Apple’s install base is so small. Companies want to upgrade on their own path, not Apple’s. Only by ensuring backwards compatibility can Microsoft ensure that companies adopt to the latest and greatest on something approaching a quick time frame.
Microsoft does phase technology out, but its timeline is at least ten years (which is essentially forever in the IT world). It is this long term thinking that IT departments like because everything is interdependent. If IT staff couldn’t count on this support they would be paralyzed.