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Windows 8 has the earmarks of being a Wordstar 2000.
Never heard of Wordstar 2000? Exactly.
Take the single most popular program in its category, which was kind of klunky in ways, and replace it with something completely different (but with almost the same name!), thereby inviting your users to re-examine their options. If ya gotta learn something new anyway, why not survey the market?
On the other hand, Windows 8 could just be a more spectacular Vista -- an embarrassing waste, but not a death blow. (XP still works fine!}