Vista had user-account issues, load and startup problems, program compatibility immediately. There was a large cry that "Every company has to replace every computer immediately" - not exactly true, but also, everyone had taken their time to adopt to XP, too. It's first delivered incarnation wasn't so great either. (It had the 128Gb hard drive limit on Day 1.)
So people were simply used to waiting, waiting, waiting for Windows SP-1 to arrive. Microsoft taught that lesson to them. They didn't WANT that lesson to be taught, of course, but Users learned from Win95 (not so great, Win95-B, much much better. Win95-C - ugh. (And even way before - Win3.0 - ugh. Win3.1 Better. Win3.11 - the best of that lot.
Vista was a huge marketing effort going up to the release, and Wiley Coyote didn't splat as bad.
In fact, within weeks, the MSDN folks were seeing toolboxes for the Next Windows. They knew Vista wasn't 'long for this life' and most corps (well, their accountants) said, "Fine - let's just wait for Vista SP1 OR the next Windows." Vista SP1 hit and Win7 was announced within weeks. So it became "Why bother?"
Vista, now, isn't so bad. But if the bad reputation has lingered longer than is justified, Ballmer & Co. have earned it.
I agree that change will be inevitable and perhaps those First Tastes are never as palatable as Taste #2. I know I'll change my W8 machines to 8.1. Ballmer shouldn't hold his breath for me to change any older releases, though.
I'm still angered that he dumps so many fonts onto my machine, and I NEVER did that to his.