It's the software companies that bug me. Some purchased software work on both my Windows 7 and Windows 8 laptops. And, some do not. I could not get my Spyder 3 pro to work on this laptop (Windows eight). Sorry, I do not wish to hijack your thread.
Hint get used to the keyboard short cuts, it does make it friendlier.
In essence though there is absolutely no difference with Win 7 vs Win 8 if you stay in the desktop. If you use Modern UI it's quicker to type a programs name and hit return. Just the same in Win 7, Win key, type and off you go. If you're information centric then Modern UI does shine, because those live tiles tell you at a glance information you may need without going into an application.
If you absolutely hate Modern UI then just set your laptop to boot to desktop and you'll rarely have to touch it again.
You'll start appreciate Win 8 when you realise you have to do a rebuild or replacement machine it will give you two choices, wipe and preserve your profile or a total re-install. In addition if you connect to your Outlook account it will even repopulate your WiFi and other settings automatically.
Is Win 8 perfect? No, but MS has been proven to be right about interface changes in the past and I don't think this is any different. It's just down to people not knowing how to adjust or that they don't know how to interact with the new environment. Windows 8.1 is a step in the right direction.
Something that people also miss is the new improved task manager, intelligent copying (especially over LANs) and under-the-hood performance improvements especially to the GPU stack which helps programs that use the GPU for OpenCL and other compute tasks. If you use dual monitor rigs then each monitor is resolution independent meaning you can have different DPI on each panel add in to the mix better taskbar support for dual monitors then this is one area that is better than OS X at present (who've still not fixed various bugs with their launch bar in the latest edition for example).
For reference I use a Surface Pro through RDP, desktop and stand alone and also on a old Core 2 desktop.
Is Win 8 perfect? No, but MS has been proven to be right about interface changes in the past and I don't think this is any different. It's just down to people not knowing how to adjust or that they don't know how to interact with the new environment.
You must be joking.
While they may have been right in the past this will NEVER be right. How the hell they expect anyone to manage the rediculous list/grid of available programs & links without folders to organise them (like you could in the Win95 Start menu) is utterly beyond me.
Their gradual simplification & automation of OS features & tasks as a whole from Win95 onwards causes nothing but trouble for those of us who are moderately IT leterate. Another thing that annoys me is adding "- Copy" as a suffix rather than "Copy of" as a prefix with file copy operations, a minor point but one that's irritates me in so much that someone somewhere decided that's a better way to work without giving me the option to change it.
In 8.1 you can make it boot straight into desktop (apparently). Apart from the tile screen it isn't so different to Win 7
The tiles are obviously ridiculous for non-touch devices, but how long will be before the vast majority of laptops are touch ?
Surely the really dodgy bit is the way it wants you to store info on microsoft servers with a microsoft account. Whilst there are advantages in sharing info across machines (and perhaps it isn't much different to icloud) they manage to make life difficult if you don't do things how microsoft want.