Microsoft: The kings of listening to user feedback?

With all that's gone on with Windows 8, Office 2013 and the XBOX One, it's dawned on me how much Microsoft will listen to and react to customer feedback.

From the build live-blog:

9:26:03 AM PDT - Lots of cheers for both of those announcements.

9:25:52 AM PDT - "We'll bring back the Start button, and boot to desktop."

9:25:38 AM PDT - "What we will show you today is a refined blend of our desktop experience and the Windows 8 experience."

Over the past 12/24 months I've seen Microsoft change the office 2013 licence to enable people to transfer the standalone install to a new machine, we saw a massive reversal of the way XBOX One will handle games and now the start button and ability to boot to a desktop environment is now returning to Windows 8 (which we knew was coming!).

It's refreshing to see MS react this way as opposed to other companies who seem to just leave their customers to "deal with it". Apple's infamous "you're holding it wrong" or Google's death of Reader which was met with universal cries of "NOOOOOoooooo!" - It's OK Google, I have Feedly to support me now.

Some will lambaste Microsoft by saying they shouldn't have made changes that people weren't going to be happy with in the first place and there is an element of truth to that fact but, if they're willing to listen to and react to complaints from their users, why shouldn't they take some risks? At worst, they'll piss some people off, at best, we may all have an incredible new way of doing things or interact with our gadgets.

There are definitely two sides to the opinions of what MS are up to. Some will say MS do too much backpedaling and shouldn't take the risks they have and others will be more forgiving and enjoy what comes next from Redmond.

I've changed my tune on a lot of what MS are doing lately. I first hated the idea of a subscription model to Office 365 and thought it was crazy but seeing the value of what that offers (5 installs, movable installs, all the cloud features) it really is a powerful way of distributing and licencing software for a multi-computer household and it keeps a steady flow of income going MS's way.

Windows 8 was the bane of my computing on my desktop until I started using it (primarily) on a laptop - I previously posted on this on the boards.

I'm still going to stick to Steam for gaming regardless of what the consoles offer as I prefer the PC as a platform.

What's your thoughts on Microsoft's recent changes? Are they simply flip-flopping/backpedaling or really listening to user feedback?

I'm finding it refreshing on how much Microsoft are willing to listen so hats off to ya MS. /removes cap