So I've been using Windows 8 in its various guises since the first release at Build in 2011. Its been installed on a variety of hardware including an intel based Slate, several laptops, some with touch, some not, I've even installed it on Hyper-V machines. Screens have caried from 11" touch screens to a 47" HD TV.
There has been a lot of press around the lack of a start button and the new user interface and from a personal perspective, I feel a lot of the complaints are unfounded for me - I dont miss the start button when working in desktop mode (windows key + D gets you there very quickly) and the desktop is where I do most of my work - as a Certified IT Architect, I create a lot of documents across the office suite, for the past several months, mainly Office 2013 - In my experience, not having a start button is negligiable - all the programs I use are pinned to the taskbar - I've been launching programs from here for years so my style of work hasnt changed wen launching programs
The new user interface, again, a lot of press interest around this - personally, I have quite a selection of live tiles that appear when I touch the windows key, I get to see some good information instantly on the live tiles - numbers of new emails, messages, new headlines, stock prices, there may not be the number of apps available in other app stores from other technologies but I've found the quality of the apps a lot better - yes I do have an iPad 3 (or is it new ipad still, I'm not sure...) to compare against and to be honest, the iPad interface is, in my opinion, starting to look very dated and wastes an awful lot of screen real estate
In summary, after 12 months of using Windows 8, my experience has been positive - it took a bit of getting used to, as does any change, however, in a work scenario, I dont think its that bigger change from how I used the Windows 7 desktop. Using the new user interface using touch or with a scroll mouse is, I have found, pretty intuitive and the face that from the new user interface, I just start typing and the OS figures out what I'm searching for straight away
One thing I do agree with most press observations I've read and that is that the biggest potential issues in the adoption of Windows 8 in the enterprise are convincing Enterprises to migrate to it from earlier versions of the Windows O/S and actually getting Enterprise users to ask their employers for it. Considering Windows 8 was only officially released on October 26th, its still early days for adoption and there are interesting times ahead
So far so good from this user though
I'll be posting a list of keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8 in another post