I'm sorry to say I have very low expectations when it comes to the Windows operating system specifically, and MSFT in general.
Some of it has to do with being a converted Mac guy, some of it is simply an appreciation for how durned hard it can be to keep a Windows box alive over time, what with all the crufty registry and DLL and odd background process weirdness you have to deal with. And the malware, enough with the malware, and the bloated apps, and the strange incantations required to make applications work, and so on and so on.
One sure way to overcome low expectations is to communicate better. I won't bore you with the same old tired mantras of "listen to the market" and "build things people want to buy" - that's what the rest of this blog is for. That and funny articles about New York Times staffers playing D&D.
What I will ask you to consider is the very nice job the kids at MSFT are doing with their Engineering Windows 7 blog, especially their most recent posting regarding changes made to Windows 7 between the beta and the release candidate (RC).
These guys are doing everything right in my book - all the more amazing when you consider this blog relates to the development of an operating system that a majority of consumers may end up using in the next few years. It gives me the vibe of a well-run startup, not a tottering megalith. It's tone is geniunely market-focused; it lacks the highly-parsed, "we know what's good for you so that's what we're building" gestalt I expected from MSFT. They're not just thinking different, they're doing different, to borrow a marketing phrase from Saint Steve. And I like it.
If this is the approach MSFT is going to take with the rest of their W7 work, it bodes very well for the company and customers alike. Not because they'll get everything right on Day 1, but because they've got their heads screwed on correctly when it comes to how to engage their customers as clients - not just consumers.