It's no secret here that I am a big fan of 8. I like it's fluid feel and Metro look. I've just fresh installed another edition of 8 the other night. I dual boot with 7 Ultimate. This is my 4th installation of 8 since early June -> Release Preview downloaded from the MS site and burned ISO to DVD. I used this edtion for the 90 day trial period -> Enterprise Evaluation twice, for I did not know MS would allow one to refresh the ninety-day trial period until ater the fact. I Downloaded the ISO from MSDN and burned to DVD. I used this edition for about 150 days -> And now Windows 8 Pro OEM System Builders edition I bought from an online store of which I'm now in the process of personalizing. The RP was 32 bit and the remaining were 64 bit editions. All installations went without a hitch using my experience and Brink's and/or other's tutorials before proceeding.
It took all of 20 minutes to install this last one. Not bad time I'd say. Another 15 minutes installing 22 purchased MS Store (Modern) apps, which needs to be reinstalled upon each OS installation via "Your Apps" within the Store. It took approximately another hour to download and install 30 updates, Bing Desktop, and MS Arc mouse driver. I think the hour's time is acceptable considering it's a new OS.
I feel I've been quite fortunate with installations and the stability of running 8 on this older Acer, especially with dual booting. I've read and continue to read the horror stories some have in doing so. I've had no driver problems, update problems, no BSODs, and no connection problems. Therefore in installing and running 8 for the past 7 months I find it to be a great experience. A little bit more of a learning curve, but once I learned the basics such as the 4 hot corners, using the Start Screen and All Apps, Charms Bars, advanced context menu, etc. it was and continues to be a great experience.
I have a score of 3.4 on the Windows Experience Index assessesment due to the integrated graphics chipset. If I slide a decent graphics card in the box I would then get a 4.7 as highest, for that is the score on the Pentium D for this machine. My plans are to purchase a touch monitor to dual monitor along with my present one. A new graphics card would accomodate that setup. Overall it is a pretty quick machine. It's not a gaming rig for sure, but it has served me well.
One other piece of info is that I use my MS account entailing my Live email acount and password to sign into my PC, which is new in 8. I've had a Live account since it's introduction. I configured this upon installation. I found this to be convenient for no matter what MS site I'm in I'm automatically signed in. Bing, MSDN, Technet, etc. The only site it asked me for a password is the online MS Store site. I would imagine this due to a security level. OK by me.
Here's the "Big Picture" of the direction I think MS is going that I began to see with each installation and use of 8 since early June:
#1 To create a slimmer and fluid touch-centric OS that works across multiple devices so as it is familiar to a user no matter what device. It also works well on a non-touch-centric device such as a desktop PC without a touch screen. Some have suggested a touch mouse or touch pad work well. Some are even experimenting with a Wii controller to navigate with. I have no problem using keyboard shortcuts along with my Arc mouse to navigate around. I get around in 8 better than I do in 7 at this point in time, in fact 7 is getting to be awkward to me now when in it.
#2 To be more Cloud orientated so to make driver installation, settings personalization, favorites migration, MS Store apps installation, personal file migration to name some easier to perform, and to sync data across devices. e.g.:
a) All my IE Favorites were migrated automatically from the last installation. Originally I migrated those manually within RP from my 7 partition or drive. They installed with every edition installation afterwards ready to use and in the familiar order I had in the last edition. I have approximately 25 folders named with categories. e.g. 8F folder with shortcuts to various threads. A folder of MS sites. etc.
b) The 3 email accounts (both MS Live accounts and 1 non-MS account) were preconfigured in the Windows Mail app ready to go for me when I opened it for the first time after each installation. This included all my emails in all 3 accounts downloaded and ready. The only thing I had to do was fill in the password for 2 of the accounts so as to activate synch. The first was already activated for I signed into the PC with it.
c) All my MS Store apps ready for me to download as I mentioned previously.
d) Personal file migration. I haven't gotten to this yet, although I've had a certain amount of free storage via my Live account. SkyDrive looks convenient as all get up and go. Easier than Easy Transfer, which is not included with 8. I'll do some storage their, but no sensitive files.
That's my experience so far. What's yours? Where do you think MS is headed with this OS 8?