I have to partially agree, the OS is not really hurting sales all that much. Most people realize that they can do everything that they need to do with what they already have, and in this economic climate everyone is keeping ther spending at a minimum.
But, I do believe that 8 is somewhat to blame because Microsoft has not made any effort to tell us what 8 will do for us that 7 cannot. They are selling an image, but there is no meat behind it. I tried 8 and was appaled at its lack of functionality. Everything takes twice as long to do, ONCE you figure out how to do it. And then, after that long learning curve, you find out that you have a less robust, less efficient, and harder to use interface. Microsoft removed all of the features of 7 that power users find helpful. You dont GAIN anything from going to 8, so why are people going to go out and get a new PC to try it out.
I know that Microsoft HAD to come out with Something to keep their revenue stream going, but this looks like an OS that two highschool kids sitting in their bedroom came up with over a long weekend.