Ok, I did the install...
The desktop is still there, with all the Windows 7 like interfaces, control panels, settings, appearances, etc. The default flattish theme is actually pretty nice for the eyes as well. Although the frames are a bit too thick for my liking.
The installation also found all hardware, no drivers were necessary, and the system is snappy.
I installed W8 alongside W7, the installation went smooth, and I like the stylized OS selection menu. Gray themes are also non-intrusive and easy on eyes.
The setup is the first one that's done right (ok, VLC was first). Setup asks if you want to allow to connect/download/update/share/etc./etc. and you can turn everything to off, which installs clean and safe system. No more hunting through 100 menus. A definite bonus after "share everything by default" mentality in nowadays software.
You can also skip entering the email address, and therefore opt out of the "cloud" crap. Very nice!
The only downside is the homegroup, this is the only thing that's on by default, as it was in Win7.
And IE10 is again integrated pretty deep into the system. I had no problems using it do what it was always meant to do, that is, to open IE to download Firefox.
The main task IE had to do worked smoothly. And after going to control panel, default programs, I managed to set VLC and FF as default programs for everything. I also found "uninstall IE10" under Windows components in control panel, which, after BIG warning, removed the offender from menus.
Now file explorer. The interface is neat, because there is no interface. Ok, there is the ribbon, but it is actually a piece of bloat that could have been removed. But it's hidden by default! I really don't see why I would EVER want to open it. The interface is very compact with ribbon minimized, and all options are available through context menu. And ribbon, when opened, is a huge cludge of garbage, if it had uninstall option, that would be the first thing I would do.
I opened the ribbon, and found that you can select "show hidden file"/"show extensions" there, but the old settings dialog is still available, which is nice. Those stupid icons in corners are also bad. They show rare options which are easier to access through context menus, and those icons explain nothing. It's not a friggin tablet, we have the right mouse button
Task manager, once switched to advanced mode, is awesome.
Now the not so cool parts.
I hate Metro start menu, and the "smart bars" that float up. They float up hell knows when and why, very counter intuitive, and are HUGE even on the smallish laptop screen, and are nightmare to use compared to control panel, or desktop alternatives. I hate to think how this looks on larger screens. Reminds me of HUGE FRIGGIN IPHONE, a device which was always lacking control and features compared to full blown desktop OS. I don't see myself EVER touching the metro features while doing productivity work, or for whatever else.
Also, ELEPHANT size icons are impossible to view. They are too huge, cover too much space, and look very similar, they just don't work on screen larger than 3", period.
The metro apps are also bad. They are huge, with ELEPHANT size everything, and don't have the close button. Also right/left clicking does hell knows what. Luckily Alt+F4 kills them right and propper. Other options seem to throw them in the background or something. Hopefully it will be easy to uninstall them once and for all, and desktop alternatives will be kept in the OS. Metro - pretty showcase in conferences on 18 feet screens, unusable nightmare in the day to day work.
The good news is that "Start key"->start typing works for pretty much everything. Type "con..." and control panel is there.
The start menu entries that are automatically upconverted to Metro also look bad.
Scrolling in Metro screen stinks, my suspicions were right, desktop PC is a **** tablet. It's too good for such tasks.
So, Win8 desktop is actually Win7 on steroids, which I very much like. But the Metro is really bad, luckily it's bearable once you switch to regular desktop, and it seems you can live leaving Metro in a sandbox you only touch with a 5 feet pole when absolutely pressed.
What I need for usable system, is to pin all programs I use to taskbar, and add a launcher that calls "shutdown -s"/"shutdown -r" to desktop somewhere.
Core 2 Duo E6300, MSI P45 NEO-F, Club 3D GTX 260, 4Gb DDR2-800Mhz, Audigy X-Fi Fatal1ty Champ1on ed., 0.5Tb+1Tb Seagate Barracuda 7200.12, 630W AXP, Samsung SyncMaster BX2450, ViewSonic VP171b