The first and best step is to install a real OS
If you want to do all of the things listed here, keep windows on your computer. If you actually want to use the computer you paid for, and not suffer from so many problems, select a different OS, or replace your computer with something that is actually supported. Plain and simple, Microsoft doesn't care to make your experience better, they only want to spend the smallest amount of money that is possible to get you to buy their OS, and then they don't need to care about you any longer. That strategy worked great for Vista. Everyone wanted, no had to, upgrade to Windows 7. Now that Windows 8 is out, and so many problems are occurring with the UI, they will gladly charge you, not $40 to upgrade to Windows 9, but more like $100 I would guess. Keep supporting them, and you'll keep getting the same nonsense.
Keep Up with TechRepublic