I am not sure how many people here are old enough to remember Microsoft Bob, but it has gone down in history as one of the worst Microsoft products and worst interface blunders of all time. Now, imagine if in 1996, Microsoft decided to ship a version of Windows that included Bob as the default interface, and not only that, it FORCED you to use it, and if that wasn't enough, it crippled the "classic" interface to the point of unusability. That is exactly what is being done in Windows 8 with the Metro interface, which is complete and total lunacy on a desktop or laptop computer.
I have been a computer and Microsoft enthusiast since Windows 3.1, and this is the first version other than Windows ME I will not touch with a 20 foot pole. I even used Vista on launch, and while it was rough the first year, after Service Pack 2 it really worked quite well. Though by SP2 Vista had evolved from a disaster to a worthwhile upgrade from XP, the damage and public perception had been done so Microsoft had to repackage it and drop the Vista brand to sell it to the masses, so Windows 7 was born. As horrible as the initial launch and public perception of Vista was, I think Windows 8 is going to make Vista look like the good ole' days.
First, remember how up-in-arms users were about UAC? That was a very simple change. Metro is going to require them to completely relearn the PC. Yes, Microsoft has done interface overhauls before, but a "classic" option has always been available. Windows 8 is the first major interface overhaul that is forced on the user without the option of a classic interface that is not crippled. Even Windows 95, which introduced the Explorer shell we all know and love, still came with Program Manager and File Manager for Windows 3.1 die-hards to use if they so chose. Within the first few months of its release, I predict there will be such a public outcry that OEMs will be forced to keep offering Windows 7.
Second, Microsoft is making a big mistake thinking that I want my $2000 gaming PC with a 30" monitor to behave like a smartphone. Metro on a desktop PC or laptop is counter-productive. It makes what I do every day harder, and is super ugly on large screens to boot. It may make sense on a tablet or smartphone, but is ridiculous with a keyboard and mouse and 30" screen. Yes, you can use the desktop but they have completely removed the option of Aero and have taken the interface back to something out of the 1990s. Worse yet, they have completely removed the Start menu so the only way to launch programs is by using Metro. Metro in and of itself isn't bad and Microsoft is trying to become a larger player in the tablet and phone markets, but shouldn't they have left a classic option available as to not alienate people who prefer a desktop OS?
Third, businesses are still by and large running Windows XP, ever so slowly migrating to Windows 7. Why does Microsoft think businesses are going to want to jump on Windows 8 which will cripple productivity and require extensive training to teach users to use the new interface? Windows 8 will be a complete failure with the enterprise, even moreso than Vista was. Windows 7 will be the business OS for the next 5-7 years as XP is phased out. Microsoft will be forced to keep offering it and most likely extend its lifespan as it did for XP until 2014. Another thing to consider is being that employees will have to be completely retrained on how to use the computer with a dumbed down, crippled Windows 8, why not just jump ship to a non-Windows platform and avoid the mess to begin with? I have never been an avid Linux supporter as it is a niche market, but this is the first time I am seeing what could be an open window for Linux to gain some marketshare.
The only thing Microsoft can really hope for with this release is that Windows-based tablets and smartphones do take off, but is history is any guide (think Zune, Windows Phone 7), every time Microsoft tries to enter a market several years too late, its a bloodbath. If Windows-based mobile devices fail, then the future of Microsoft may be in jeopardy. They will be forced to release Windows 9 quickly, which hopefully will restore usability on the desktop and laptop. In the mean time, Microsoft should keep Windows 7 available for desktops and laptops alongside Windows 8 for mobile devices.
I will continue to use 7 as long as I can, and will NEVER run Windows 8 on my desktop computer. Keep in mind I DID use Vista and this is the first release I have ever been so disgusted by there's no way I would even consider using it.
Bottom line is Windows 8 is akin to a bad April fools joke. It's almost incomprehensible how a company like Microsoft and force this garbage on us. This trash heap makes Vista and ME look like good, solid releases, so when people say Windows 8 is the next Vista, I always correct them and tell them its really the next Microsoft Bob. 5 years from now, computer enthusiasts will laugh and joke about Windows 8 just like they did Bob.