@John P re trying windows 8 before damning it
If I told you that the next version of the OS you'd be using had a C64-style command-line-only interface with no mouse support, no icons, maximum resolution 320 x 200 and only 16 preset colours on screen, you wouldn't need to try it to know that it doesn't do what you want. You know the specs required to accomplish the tasks you need to do and how you want to do them, and you know that a Commodore 64 doesn't have the specs required.
Now, my specs are that much of the work I do involves having multiple applications open at once, spread across multiple monitors, and with some applications working in the background while I get on with something else. For example, I might have Cinema 4D rendering a 3D image in the background while downloading a texture pack from the Web in Firefox at the same time as I'm post-processing a rendered image in Photoshop.
So when I read articles about how Windows 8 only supports full-screen apps and that apps that aren't at the front are put into a "suspended mode", that tells me that Windows 8 doesn't do what I want. It tells me that if I switch Cinema 4D to the back to do something else while it renders, the rendering stops. It tells me that when Firefox is switched to the back downloading stops. It tells me that multitasking is no longer available.
When I read reviews stating that the new TIFKAM interface is going to be a walled garden where only Microsoft-approved apps can be installed, that tells me I can no longer use open-source apps like Celestia or Notepad++ unless the developers of those apps get approval from Microsoft, which probably costs money they can't afford. It tells me I no longer have the choice of what software to install.
When I read blogs about how Windows 8 requires you to sign in to an online account, or, if you don't, constantly nags you to do so, and I see Microsoft publishing usage metrics that could only be obtained by the most intrusive and invasive monitoring of peoples' computer usage, that tells me that Microsoft can potentially monitor and reach into everything I do on my computer, whether I want them to or not. It tells me my computer is no longer my own property.
So when I read all of these things, I don't need to use it to know that it doesn't do what I want or need. Now I know that you can get past the TIFKAM to the desktop and it should work with multitasking and no need to sign in etc, but it is very clear that the desktop is a legacy mode designed to wean people off to the new restrictive paradigms, and it's likely that Windows 9 or 10 will ultimately be TIFKAM-only. I do not want to be "weaned". I do not want to lose the multitasking functionality and privacy I've grown to use and enjoy. So I do not want to even start down that path, because when you give them an inch they take a mile. I do not need to use Windows 8 to know that I do not want to use it.
As the old saying goes, a wise man learns from his neighbours' mistakes, a fool but by his own.