I think the second article is true, but also missed the point the author himself was making. The fact Vista was packaged with 88 million PCs is no reflection of how good or bad Vista is, just how much of a stranglehold MS has on the market. For the most part people generally have no problem with that. It would be very hard for someone to develop an OS that people would be willing to try because Windows is what PC users know and for the most part love.
If however those 88 million buyers had been given a choice, after 7 was released, to upgrade for $50 or downgrade for free Vista would probably have been forgotten by now. It's our fault to some extent for wanting the next big thing on the market. But, like the article tried to point out, it is also the only thing that can run on so many different machines and have all the software made to run with it too. It works for us, for PC part makers, for software makers and for MS too. Obviously it works best for MS, but only because MS works well enough most of us want their OS. At least every other OS anyway.