My point is probably out of context since the context is fairly broad.
Windows 8 has a fine desktop. And it has improved desktop functions. Improved features.
So are some suggesting that the Windows 7 desktop is better than the Windows 8 desktop?
I give up.
Now since Windows 8 isn't so much 7.1 but on a new path of development, I find it's more worthwhile than 7. There is a new interaction method on new PCs, touch and nontouch alike, that makes it more enjoyable to use over 7. A form factor I previously once though years ago was to be utterly useless has become a form factor I personally desire as a secondary PC, primarily due to the software features, functionality, and design. An input method that many here find useless on a desktop and even personally, I once thought touch on a desktop wasn't totally great, until Windows 8 came. That showed to me the potential of better interaction with Windows over a mouse; it showed me that using touch on a desktop (when done right) is just more proper. Top that along with a new interface design that is modern, clean, and fresh over the glassy, glowy, rounded cheesy looking UI design called Aero, it's a more worthwhile OS to me. That, along with the performance improvements, along with a faster update cycle makes Windows 8 more worthwhile. Windows 7 isn't ever going to get a Blue update, just a simple service pack possibly.
If Windows 8 were just Windows 7.1 and it kept it Desktop only, that there would be the Start of irrelevance of the Microsoft operating system. How people use technology and PCs isn't how they used technology and PCs 10 years ago. The desktop form factor has been supplanted by the laptop (something I bet many tech heads 10 years ago said would never happen for a LONG time) and the laptop is going to be supplanted by the tablet in a few years. How people interact with PCs aren't the same as 10 years ago. On a laptop, you touch a touchpad to move a mouse, which is really a skim milk touchscreen. On a tablet, it's a simple tap on a piece of UI. There is no moving a physical device called a mouse to interact with information and content. How people use PCs isn't the same as 10 years ago, where people were developing local digital libraries, where at the time it was thought the PC was to be the center of a digital multimedia entertainment center. (It's not, the game console usually is or something else not a PC.) Nowadays, people guzzle internet data faster than they would had in a whole year a decade ago. An operating system designed at the age of when internet was wired and through a dial up modem isn't well designed/suited for an age where internet is in your hand wireless on a four inch screen, or on a tablet when you're taking a big poop in the bathroom. To simply say that Windows 8 would had been better suited being the same old expected thing for the next two, three years would be akin to a slow and suffocating death. Just look at the mac os's marketshare versus ios, if apple were to drop ios, they'd be bankrupt. The mac os isn't a large focus for apple anymore, it's the ipad, the ipad mini, and the iphone; or ios in general. Meanwhile everyone on the mac will eventually have to get an ios device in the later future, as the usage of it will be so low, apple will probably cut off development for it to cut costs and focus on ios. If Windows went the path of Desktop only OS and metro styled OS for touch/tablet devices, that EXACT situation will happen for sure.