Nice article John. This one sentence sums up my own views.
"Instead of growing their phone software up, they decided to grow their computer operating system down."
While there are some things to like about Windows 8 - faster boot times, smaller memory footprint, the forthcoming ReFS file system - my desktop computer is not a tablet, and never will be. I don't want the tablet interface for it, I want the normal desktop we're accustomed to. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that I want that same familiar desktop functionality in any tablet I buy. I don't like any of the current tablet OS's. A tablet should not be a different animal than a desktop computer, it should be essentially the same thing, running the same OS with the same design and functionality, capable of running the exact same programs, but in a different form factor. Basically I want to put the 'computer' I have now into my 24" screen (à la iMac), and then shrink that down to 10". THAT is a proper tablet.
Well, I finally went ahead and 'upgraded' my current Windows 7 to Windows 8 Release Preview.
So far all seems well. Even though the Desktop is now just an app, rather than a base level GUI, once you're there it's not much different from running Windows 7. In fact, so far I'm not seeing any advantage to running Windows 8. Some things are different, some few things are maybe worse, but nothing is really "better". (Except maybe the boot up times, but I leave my personal machine running 24/7, so that's not much incentive.) It's possible a lot of the advantages of Windows 8 may come in the Metro interface using Metro apps, but I don't see myself ever doing that. I'll be running W8 purely from the Desktop, so...like I said some things are different, some are worse, but so far nothing is better.
OK, there are a couple things I've found that I like better about Windows 8.
For one the new Task Manager is FAR superior to the old. I even like it better than Process Explorer. For me, this is a very useful new addition.
Besides startup times, things in general seem to be faster in Windows 8. Programs start faster. The whole UI seems snappier. Mind you this is purely a subjective analysis based on years of doing the same exact things under Windows 7. No actual speed tests have been run.
The slightly redesigned Windows Explorer has some nice new features, like the Ribbon (which by default is hidden unless you manually call it up).
Whenever a new program is installed and you open a file it can handle, such as installing a new media player and opening up a video, Windows will give you a pop up telling you you have a new program to open that file with, and it gives you the option to switch to the new program, any other program that can handle that file, or keep using the current program to open that file. This only happens once.
There are some very nice reboot options that you could normally only access (or try to, if you're quick enough) during the actual reboot. Now you can tell Windows to boot to the BIOS even before you shut down. No more rebooting 3 times in a row because you keep missing the opportunity to hit Delete at the right time.
From the desktop or the Start screen, hitting Windows+Q will call up a full list installed apps, kind of like your own personal app store. This is actually much easier to deal with than the old Start Menu access to programs.
When transferring files, you get a speed graph that shows you the ongoing performance of the transfer speeds.
And that window stays expanded, even across new copies or moves, until you close it with the Fewer Details button. One thing I found annoying about Windows 7 is that each new file transfer started with the window collapsed and I had to manually hit More Details every singe time. Now it just stays open, the way I prefer it.