I have a three year old Vaio sitting on my office desk. Those new iMacs are looking pretty tempting, but there is actually nothing wrong with my PC. It does all I need and then some.
It's not my main computer. It's not even my second. After my iPhone, I use my MacBook Air the most, followed by my wife's iPad, and THEN the Vaio. What's that? 4th most used computer.
Still, I decided I would spend a few bucks and stick Windows 8 on the thing. Things were going pretty smoothly. It was a lot clunkier than upgrading an iOS or even an OSX device, but for the most part it went quite hummingly (except for that moment when it was 90% done and someone two suburbs away crashed into a power pole killing the power to most of my town thus interrupting my windows update and making me start again when the power finally came back on).
i eventually got Windows 8 working and was quite relieved I hadn't ruined my computer or lost all my stuff. At first I was annoyed by it. "Damn", I thought. "Now I have to sit here and learn to use something new. I only ever come to this computer to do something because I absolutely have to and I want to get in and out as quick as I flippin can."
Over next couple of days I would look at the computer as I walked past and grimace inside at the thought of sitting down and "learning" a bunch of new ways to get basic stuff done. I eventually sat down at it for 15 minutes to have a tinker.
I found the "desktop" tile on the crazy moving start menu and like magic my familiar Windows 7 desktop appeared (minus the start button). "I'm saved" I thought to myself. I played a bit more, got over it, and walked away.
People tell me it's nice on a tablet. I'm sure it is. I don't like having to hover a mouse over stuff to find pop ups.
The new funky start menu might be nice if I was the kind of person who sat down at his computer with no idea of what I was wanting to do and was looking for something to distract me. But otherwise it's like looking at a stock ticker on steroids. I couldn't even figure out how to close the darn apps for a while (finally thought to try right clicking the mouse).
Windows 8 certainly didn't make it easier for me to find my way to the apps I want to use, and it in no way helps me get my work done quicker. The pretty tiles are certainly... pretty, but I have come to appreciate the uniformity of the iOS icons so much that I don't even like all the Mac icons being different shapes. My brain wants a bunch of evenly lined up same shaped icons that are just there when I switch the machine on. Too much cognitive effort to get to the app or service I want will cause me to reach for that device less and less.
All Microsoft needed to do was make their little start menu a bit prettier and perhaps make it so that by default all your apps/programs installed an icon (not a short cut) to the desktop and left everything else the same, and the world (of "make it easy for me" people) would be happy.
As it stands, I cannot see my parents leaving XP any time soon.
While I'm at it, I'm one of those people that actually likes the launchpad view on the Mac. I would be all for that being the standard view on my Mac. I don't want to see the Mac become a tablet or lose any of it's functionality, but I would very much like some of the wonderful features that makes iOS such a pleasure to use to make it over to the world of desktops and laptops.