I know I'm late to this discussion, but I had no reason to be involved until now. My James has a theory, which I tend to agree with, that Microsoft releases versions of Windows in the following order - it's great, it sucks, it's great, it sucks. And after Windows 7, Windows 8... well, it sucks. And as we thought it would suck, we didn't plan on upgrading from Windows 7 until my laptop died and James bought us a new one... and every single laptop came with Windows 8, and not a single alternative was given.
A word of warning; there be ranting ahead. I do know it's kind of pointless to talk about it because who knows if Microsoft ever even listens, but if anyone knows of a customer service email or something where I could possible politely tell Microsoft my thoughts on the new operating system that would be nice ^__^
So my first impression was not too bad, really. I wasn't a fan of the start screen replacing the start menu but I got used to it fairly quickly and as you could still access the desktop as per usual it seemed fine. Nothing too fancy going on, it seemed, so I was willing to forgive the existence of the start screen.
Until one day at uni I tried to open a PDF.
Fullscreen apps. No minimise button [praise be for alt-tab, am I right?], no "view in window option" and no exit button. I had to google how to close the damn reader, and I'm not a total dumb-ass when it comes to computers. This revelation was shortly followed by my noticing that Window 8 treats your desktop as an app as well, regardless of how many programs you have running from the desktop.
How is this interface user friendly? When using the laptop at uni I need to click between course outlines and readers in PDF format to the Word documents I'm using to take notes, and maybe clarify a few things online at the same time. The new system of apps does not make that an efficient process for me. I hate having things in fullscreen and it really peeves me that Microsoft has decided I am not allowed to choose how big or small I want to view something.
The thing that I really don't get is that Windows has had a great thing going on for a very long time. It's a familiar interface and we know how to make it work and really, did anyone actually have major issues with Windows 7? At all?
The thing is, I don't want my apps to all be running in the background. I want to see and control what is open and what is closed. I get where Microsoft is coming from, I really do, and I think the system would be great for mobile and tablet devices. But it's not great for PCs. I use my PC to multi-task on various productive tasks, so we're going to whip out one of the spare copies of Windows 7 and wipe the little laptop clean.