First impressions after installing it today...
Downloaded it this afternoon as an ISO so I could install it in a VM on my Mac.
The installation was great. 10/10 for cleaning that up Microsoft. Well done.
It runs quite well, the main operating system's working in the way that all operating systems should, i.e. you don't notice them.
Now the problem. It's the User Interface. If you're not using a touch tablet, the gestures are completely inappropriate for a laptop/desktop machine. For instance the logon requires you to drag up a cover from the bottom. Sorry, it's naff on a desktop.
Where are the applications? There's a load of pre-loaded stuff in the start screen, most of which is inappropriate for work; games, music, etc. Apart from <winkey>R, I can't find any applications to run. Not notepad, nuffing. Microsoft have lost the Start menu and replaced it with... well, nothing I can see.
The applications are really weird too. I can't seem to work out how to get context menus up on things like the PDF viewer or IE. Just odd.
I know it's a first cut preview and accept they'll be changes. But this is not good at all. Someone with 30 odd years of experience of all sorts of Graphical User Interfaces and I'm left feeling like a total numptie. I've no idea how it works and I've never before been left feeling like this.
I'm particularly disappointed as I was really hoping that Microsoft would show Apple how it's done. Yes, honestly. Unfortunately, it's like Microsoft took the worst things of Lion and then raided the rejects bin. For a user with large screens, keyboard & mouse, the tablet interface is horrible. OSX Lion is not good when compared with previous versions (vis-a-vis Launch Control and Mission Control). Windows 8 just doesn't have that finesse and is very far from intuitive.
As a desktop operating system user interface it's a complete disaster. If Windows 8 gets released like this it will really flop in business.
Now, lets re-visit this posting in a few years to see what happens.