Normal is what an individual usually does or usually acts. We take notice when an individual acts differently to their normal way. I new something was up when one of my children acted out of their norm.
Here's the thing ........ Windows 8 is what it is.
That's the reality of it all. It is abnormal to previous OSs. A huge change to target a market. I believe it is not targeting enterprise, but rather the general public. Like you say, Terry, enterprise will be happy to upgrade to 7. I think MS had this planned all along. They new they had to get 7 near perfect, which I believe they accomplished. I'm quite sure they had 8 release date pinned on their calendar while producing 7. 7 will continue to be income for them. I think 9 will be geared for enterprise.
It starts with marketing. Anyone could see that Apple was winning the game. Throw some Google with Android and other touch-based OSs in. The market is demanding touch. No if, ands, or buts about it. One has to change their game plan to win.
Therefore, it's the people's demand for touch. It's not MS's, iFruit's, Google's, OEM's, or any others' choice. If anyone ever bought a touch device, they voted for touch.
When I first booted up 8, I intuitively knew to press enter after staring at the splash screen for about 10 seconds. My exact thoughts were "This is different" and then "What the hell is this?!". After pushing enter I stared at the Start Screen for awhile with these same two questions, but added ones of "Where's the desktop?!". "Where's the start orb and menu?!" "How do I shut this thing down?!" Lol! It remains quite amusing to me to this day!
I scrolled back and forth a few times wondering what to do next. "I need help" I thought, so I pushed the IE tile. It opened to the Bing page, which has been my home page for quite some time. That was "normal" for me. I typed "shut down windows 8". It led me to a whole lot of help. This forum was and continues to be a huge help. The rest is history. I was cruising through 8 within a few hours and I don't consider myself all that savvy! Within a few days I was pretty much familiar with most of it.
I guess it's all in fun, but just don't get the hoopla of cold-showing 8 to anyone without some simple instructions. I think it's plain asinine. An insult to human intelligence IMO.
If not for the hierarchical problem of organization of the Start Screen it would be far better than the Start Menu. I admit that is a big problem that MS needs to address. It's not a huge problem for me, but I realize it is for some.
Shortcut keys are pretty much the same, especially the Windows key. Push it once the Start Screen appears. Push it again it's back to the window screen I was at. Same as the Start Menu. It's no different in that respect. When I opened the Start Menu, I wasn't looking at the rest of the desktop, I was concentrating on the menu. I find it very much more informational while looking for something on the Start Screen in that live tiles are feeding me information while there. Who's emailing me, temperatures in multiple places, news headlines, etc. I don't have to open a program to get information. It's all at a glance. The Start Menu didn't do that for me.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I absolutely love the look of the "Modern" Start Screen. It looks a whole lot better than the Start Menu IMO. I don't need no stinking Start Menu. That's my vote.