For sure, I agree with V8. But 8.1 was actually a decent OS (when you consider the duties of an OS). The biggest problem with 8.1 was it still had "8" in its name. It might have actually been a decent success had 8.0 not been rushed out the door unfinished, and instead waited until 8.1 was done. Then release it as 8.
The other main problem with 8.x in general was the same problem that plagues all drastically different software - user familiarity. We are creatures of habit who like the status quo. But typically, as we have seen over and over again, once we get used to the changes, and tasks become second nature, we like it.
I used to love XP and purposely avoided Vista because I liked XP so much. I finally caved and upgraded when W7 came out. There was a bit of learning curve, but once I got used to, I loved W7. And whenever I came across an XP box, it felt awkward, foreign.
So, if, like Corrine and many others, if they bought a new device that came with 8.1, and they took the time to get familiar with it (and kept an open mind and didn't listen to all anti-Microsoft propaganda) they typically liked it.
The problem with the status quo is there is no profit in it.