So I'm switched over to Windows 8 at home, and in the process of switching at work (against my will). Short version: I hate it. Using Metro (yeah, I'm still gonna call it that) Internet Explorer (which I generally avoid like the plague anyway, but wanted to give the new version a fair shake) is mystifying--my poor mom who was visiting and borrowing my home PC couldn't figure it out (not to mention the whole OS), and then today I couldn't either, nor could two of my very smart co-workers, who also make a living off this stuff. WTF? Now I know how family and friends who ask me about computer stuff feel. :( Oh, and don't even bother trying to use it over Remote Desktop, at least from a previous version of Windows.
I've said for a while that Windows 8 was really made for tablets, and I think it will shine there if the OEMs don't continue to build crap that annoys consumers (mainly by adding on software people don't want, need, or understand just to shore up their profit margins). Much to their credit, Microsoft is trying to lead the way with Surface, and some of the new OEM devices I've seen actually look really good as long as they're not hobbled with crapware.
Reviews on Surface (RT) thus far have been mixed, but nobody seems to have any complaint with the hardware, just the software and app ecosystem. Same with Windows Phone, another great platform that Microsoft seemed to abandon in the last iteration. Why the *$&% do I see big fancy ads for Internet Explorer (a product that nobody pays for directly) on TV, but NOTHING for Windows Phone, a potentially great product nobody outside techies (including very critical gadget blogs/podcasts like Gizmodo and TWiT) seems to know about? It's weird, another symptom of a dysfunctional company that spends more energy fighting itself than competitors, at least if it really wants to get into the consumer space.
Windows Server 2012 is a truly epic product with massive technological advances, and if Microsoft is fighting for control over the enterprise space they've made a major advance. But on the consumer side with Windows 8, I think they've failed for desktop PCs, and laptops remain to be seen. Maybe they think desktops are going away and they don't care? That could be, and would be fine if they admitted that was their strategy. But as far as I can tell, MSFT is trying to become Apple for consumers while remaining Microsoft for the enterprise, and somebody up high believes that the One True Windows is the only way to achieve that, though Apple has definitively shown otherwise. Tablet, phone, PC, laptop, whatever--according to Microsoft, they should all run Windows, even if it takes up more than half the space on the "32GB" device the consumer just bought (see Gizmodo for details on that).
Sorry for the long rant, but this product just makes me angry, as has Microsoft's abandonment of great products like Windows Phone 7. I think they're screwed in the mobile market (though once again Windows Phone 8 is a great product), and now potentially the desktop market as well. No enterprise is going to upgrade to Windows 8--most are barely starting to upgrade to Windows 7, and Win8 certainly isn't going to give them any incentive. And for home users? On a tablet, sure, but for your desktop or laptop, stick with Windows 7.