06-30-2010 01:04 PM
I agree that we shouldn't be blaming people in this regards. Especially in a business setting, the local user will have no ability to do any upgrades anyways.
Thinking about this whole thing, I have a tendency to want to put some blame on Microsoft. They have an erratic release schedule, and every new software upgrade usually entails new and expensive hardware upgrades as well, and their upgrades will entire purchasing a new upgrade license in addition to the original license already purchased (contrast this with my Linux systems at home, which upgrade to the next version every 6 months like clockwork (depending on the distro), will adapt themselves to whatever hardware you have got, and cost nothing).
In 2001, Microsoft consolidated their DOS-based versions of Windows (95, 98, Me) and their NT-based version of Windows (NT, 2000) into a single NT-based version, their highly successful Windows XP. They did not release their next upgrade (Vista) until 2007, letting the market have XP as the only option for almost 6 years (and in some cases, you can still go out and purchase a new computer from a retail store with an OEM installed copy of XP, almost 9 years after it came out). Needless to say, the market became very, very used to XP, causing further problems with applications would not run when installed on Vista, and creating a consumer backlash where people were actually "downgrading" their computers from Vista to XP. If one wanted to upgrade from XP to Vista, the upgrade process is not a trivial one, and it is not possible to upgrade from XP to 7 directly.
The cultural impact of this is a perfect storm where it is simply easier to do nothing than to go through the pain of what doing upgrades, installing service packs and patches, and keeping the system up to date entails, which spills over from just the operating system software into all of the other types of software (like browsers) in terms of maintenance.