So, I have a Dell XT2 convertable laptop. I have had it for awhile. Nice laptop that includes a touch screen that can be flipped around into a heavy tablet that lasts all of about two hours before the battery dies.
Anyway... As a laptop, running Windows 7, it is more than I need.
So, I decided that I would upgrade to Windows 8.
This isn't my first run at Windows 8. On my desk at work I have a second computer (Current one is Vista 64) which runs Windows 8 inside an all-in-one desktop with a touch screen.
The upgrade process on my laptop was mostly painless. It took a long time, and I should say that it's Microsoft's best upgrade process yet. It found the drivers it needed to run my system and upgraded everything it needed to work as it installed. It also notified me about applications that were not so great.
However, oddly, the install caused a weird flicker problem on my laptop and it wouldn't boot up. I think this is due to the custom touch-screen that the laptop has. This was solved by using the Windows 8 repair option (On a disc) to fix it. It's quite a problem, however, if you didn't get a disc version and only went with the download option. I don't know what you'd do there. You'd be screwed.
Now that it is up and running, it works fine, but the biggest disappointment is the lack of apps for the Modern UI. Unlike, say, a tablet that is new on the market, or a phone OS that hasn't had legs to really build up a library of titles. This is Windows we're talking about. There should have been far more apps ready to go at launch. I don't know why Microsoft didn't get devs working on updates sooner, but it is what it is.
The things that are there work well, but some things are just confusing to me. For instance, lets say you open the Modern UI's browser. There is no URL bar. Ok... But there is a Bing search option. I type in Slingbox, trying to get to www.slingbox.com and it doesn't show up in the results. So I type www.slingbox.com and guess what? It still doesn't show up in the results. But at the bottom of the screen, finally, a URL bar shows up. So I can type it in there.
When you tab browse, the tabs aren't present unless you move the mouse to the top of the screen. It's terrible.
Many other apps utilize the "Charm Bar" on the right hand side for actions such as Search. This is confusing, because the charm bar also works as the OS's search function. (Sort of like when you would press Start and type something in the Run prompt) So you're never quite sure what you're doing. And it requires moving between layers of things.
Like a tablet, you basically only run one app at a time, though it does allow you to run two side-by-side if you have a monitor with a high enough resolution. This is a step up from other tables and means you can watch a video and browse the web at the same time. Nice, but it's limited to two windows which seems a bit chaotic on the desktop. For instance, on my desk at work, I have two monitors on my Vista 64 machine. One holds a task list and messaging service for organizational duties of my team. The other is where everything else gets done. I have no idea how Windows 8 handles multiple monitors but I imagine it doesn't do anything like this.
I don't hate it. There are some nice apps for it that are done well. The problem is that there aren't enough to make the new Modern interface even feel worthwhile versus the older more established platforms. Of course, the library will grow over time and improve. It just feels like a very stale launch. If I was to recommend something to someone on the fence about it. I would suggest sticking with Windows 7 and wait until Windows 9 or a very good Service Pack update to Windows 8. Right now it just feels half baked.
There just seems little purpose in the Modern UI over just using Windows 7 as always. The lack of apps means there really isn't any purpose for it right now. And really, the apps are designed for touch. You can use a mouse, but not with everything.
At this point, I think it's better to wait until there is a reason to upgrade. Kolop is correct that it resumes quickly, though I don't think it boots initially any faster, for some reason my BIOS takes longer to kick-off now than under Windows 7 which is odd, almost like it did something there. But I can't tell.
Anyway... You can get on with it fine if you buy it, it just has dumb things about it. Like what Kolop was saying. I went to Slingbox's website to use the streaming player in the new IE and it said that I had to use the browser on the desktop and I couldn't use the new browser. WTF? Stupid.