The features we need in an operating system (and peripherals) depend on what we want from a computer.
Working in a small business/govt. environment, I can say that cost management and reliability are very, very important. Playing games and overclocking devices does not fit in with that culture.
I won't argue that it may not be such a good idea for Microsoft to produce its own devices (peripherals). I have, in the past, been referred to the HCL to look for vendors who go through the trouble to make their devices work properly with Windows (and verify it).
The problem with poorly supported drivers does exist. I realize that Microsoft is making a real effort to educate driver writers. I also realize that Microsoft has the clout to advance the state of the art in driver MAINTENANCE.
If Microsoft won't put it's brand name on devices (other than Mice and Keyboards), then at least Microsoft can enhance its logo requirements to the point where vendors will HAVE TO MAINTAIN GOOD WORKING DRIVERS for all current versions of Win32---even those which have not yet been released.
It means a lot to me, to be able to distinguish between (2) vendors who CLAIM their device has the appropriate drivers for a particular group of Win32 Operating Systems and (2) vendors who actually KEEP their devices working with all current versions of Windows Operating Systems.
If I have to replace devices every time I upgrade to a new operating system, then I need to factor that cost into the total cost of the operating system.
I was an early adopter of WindowsXP. I had lots of video capture, television and other devices. I took a real beating, replacing a number of devices---some of which appeared to not work properly with WindowsXP (even though they had the XP logo on the box).
After a year, I switched back to Windows 2000. I would probably not use WindowsXP again, but I am looking forward to Longhorn.
This time I am preparing to be an early adopter.
I am going to kiss everything I use today goodbye and start from scratch.