Anyone's opinions change now that it's out?
I'll be sticking with 7.... Actually, Ubuntu's my primary OS, but I'm virtualizing Windows 7 for the sole purpose of Word. And using my USB OBD-II interface for my car.
I work in IT, and I have the Windows 8 Pro version as a VM. I'm appalled that they expect business users to live with the stupid Metro interface / start screen, the absolutely butt-ugly graphics (especially the login screen that looks like some cartoon drawn by a drunk kindergartner), and, the ultimate finishing touch, the ads within the apps it comes with!
When it comes to the appearance within the Desktop environment.... Well, OK. I can deal with different font rendering, the oversized buttons designed for touch screen users, etc. Maybe even the lack of a start menu, IF, somehow, they made everything that WAS in the start menu easier to access. The closest thing to the start button is to put the pointer in the lower right corner and right-click.... Then you get some options like Run, Control Panel, etc. If this action came up with what looked like a normal start menu, I could live with hiding the button. But that isn't so, and I have yet to find Windows Update without doing a search.
Hopefully Windows 9 (or whatever they'll call it) will offer some sort of choice when you install it whether you want to use Metro, whether or not you're using a touchscreen so the graphics can be adjusted accordingly, etc. Even the tiles on the start screen are enormous, and if I install programs/apps, I have to scroll to the right of the start screen to see them; only the first one is visible. I can't arrange them to stack vertically, either.
I think I'd appreciate Windows 8 more if I were a home user and had a tablet. And I do like how snappy it is. However, on a desktop (or particularly non-touch laptop), Windows 8 just does NOT feel intuitive. The most awkward thing I find is whatever they call the bar on the right side that, on a tablet, you would drag out to reveal (it includes Settings, which you go through to shut down, etc.). With a mouse, you have to push the mouse over there to make it come out, but it never works the first time, so you have to push the mouse to the right, run it up and down a few times, and it finally comes out. Also, there are some system tools that are in the Metro interface, and some you can get by right-clicking the start link in the desktop. It should all be in one place. They really need a touch and non-touch version, the non-touch version bringing back the start menu and having smaller tiles on the start screen, making the close/minimize/restore buttons smaller again, etc.
Seems like MS is in a trend of mediocrity every other release. XP was good, Vista not so good, 7 was my favorite, 8 is terrible (for non-tablets). Not bashing Windows 2000, however; I liked that. But there was Windows ME before that.... Windows 98 SE before that, and Windows 98 before that.... And so on.