By middle ground I meant IE9 - I can have the compatibility, I can install whatever plugins I like. Or I can have the security and install none of them. Or I can mix and match - I can have some plugins (e.g. Flash), but not others (e.g. Quicktime).
Metro IE has switched from one extreme (absolutely no plugins etc.; we're going to treat you like a bunch of 3 year olds) to the other (you must have flash, you have no option, we're going to irremovably bake it in there).
BTW, granny is the first person who will fail to update her plug-ins so in her case she is screwed no matter what.
Well there are solutions to that issue. IMHO the updating experience for Flash has improved substantially - in fact I seem to recall that last time I a flash update prompt appeared on my screen it said something about auto updating and never having to see such a prompt again. Another solution to this issue would be to allow third party software vendors to integrate their software with Windows Update in some way (e.g. have a list of update servers that WU checks on each machine - when you install Flash Adobe could add their server to that list).
(And perhaps I shouldn't have chosen the granny example... if there's an unpatched vulnerability in the browser it could affect any of us...)