If you have enough money to set some of yours on fire, be my guest. But the marketing strategy of compatibility and interoperability carries with it a responsibility, and a rational expectation in the marketplace, of de facto compatibility and interoperability. Whether or not Microsoft is legally required to provide compatibility, or just sufficient data for software developers to write compatible code, end users are going to continue to expect the compatibility and interoperability that originally led to the widespread adoption of the x86 personal computer standards - because we chose that platform for a reason - our convenience. Windows failure to deliver on that promise has driven me to Linux, and I'm not looking back.
"Microsoft even provides a testing program to aid software and hardware vendors in assessing the need for updating their own hardware/software."
That's good. What do they do for vendors who were supplied development standards, programmed their products accordingly, then had their compatible programs rendered incompatible by a patch to one of Microsoft's infamous 'security holes'? Whose fault is that? Who pays the price of re-development? Why are the answers to the two previous questions different? Because we aren't in the Pottery Barn? Or, because legal responsibilities in such case have been decided by lawyers with no competence in computer programming? Duh!
Operating systems are the foundation for all software operability.
As such, they have an obligation to all software developers to provide actual standards for programming operability, meaning that a program developed to today's standards will stay compatible, even after the next security patch. Not necessarily the next operating system, but because, as you correctly say, "operating systems are the foundation for all software operability," I refuse to waste my time on an operating system that is released with so many errors that it routinely causes inoperability of the software that is the purpose of the operating system in the first place.
I didn't buy a computer to run Windows. I bought a computer to run scientific and word-processing applications for college coursework. I tried to use Windows as the operating system of that computer and Windows failed miserably, repeatedly. The operating system is only the means to an end, not the purpose of the computer.
There are better means than Windows, and better uses of time than learning the intricacies of troubleshooting the non-viewable MS code. You could instead use an open source OS, and learn some programming skills while you troubleshoot. Unless you think your time is as worthless as well as your money!
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