Reply (Part One)
"Thanks for your extensive response, appreciate the time you took."
No problem. I am always happy to debate with someone who is open to it. You've gone through my list and identified why a number of the advantages are not of interest to you. That's fine. I listed some of the things I could think of from the top of my head because even though you may not need something, it's useful to many others and makes the point that Windows 8 is far from just a new UI which is kind of where you were coming from. That said, I'm rather amazed you got from the long list I wrote down to
"So summing up the main enhancements which I can see are better IPv6 support, easier option to check for hidden files in the Explorer and the inclusion of security essentials."
In all honesty, it makes me want to ask if you can honestly say with your hand on your heart that you weren't trying to dismiss things from my list. No offence meant. But anyway, to answer your own points...
"Faster booting - This is a bit of a hack because in fact the OS uses a section of the disk where it hibernates the OS then simply re-activates that part. Quite frankly; I can do the exact same thing on Windows 7 is I tell it not to shut down but to hibernate"
You've not quite got how it works - it is different to hibernation on Windows 7. In Windows 8, they have separated out the hibernation of the kernel from the application space. My main workstation has 12GB of RAM and I run a lot of programs sometimes. Even if I close my applications down in preparation, it still takes a while to hibernate my machine. Shutting down and re-starting Win8 is not the same as Win7 hibernation. It takes the kernel and some essential parts, and hibernates that. The result is that it shuts down and restarts like lightning. The point is that on Win7, hibernating doesn't save me any time over just shutting the machine down. Win8 is simply massively faster here and Win7 hibernation doesn't compete.
"The 'runs faster' is also disputable considering how much options and eye candy they stripped from parts such as the desktop. If I minimize the visual effects (turn off aero, animations, translucency) I can get my Win7 to run a whole lot faster as well."
Again, you're arguing that you can by doing certain things *make* Win7 as fast as Win8 is by default. It's still a big advantage for many. Though your premise isn't quite right. Win8 also performs faster at non-UI tasks, but I'll address that later otherwise I'm repeating myself.
"chkdsk repairs on a soft-raid volume while its mounted - I can do that with Win7 as well. Unless of course its the system volume, but quite frankly I don't see being able to perform repairs on a mounted and used system volume as an enhancement. I consider this a major risk factor instead"
Firstly, I didn't say carrying them out on a "soft-raid". I just said a mounted volume. That can be any mounted volume and yes - including a System volume. You're comparing it to Re-syncing etc. in Win7. That's not what I'm talking about per se. I'm saying that when you have a disk fault (you must have seen those blue screens where it says "Checking Disk 43% complete" after a power-failure or disk failure). These can typically complete in under two seconds now. That's even faster than my Debian system. And yes - it is useful to be able repair a system disk whilst running, depending on what services your machine is running.
"Multi monitor - Can't comment there since I only use one. What I can say is that it could be expected considering that they've limited the features severely in other areas. Think about running two "TIFKAM" (The Interface Formerly Known As Metro) side by side. Can't be done on lower resolutions, even if those are still pretty common for Office use."
I'm really confused as to what you are referring to here with "can't be done on lower resolutions", so you're going to have to clarify. I think before that you're saying that you think Multi-monitor support is better because of lighter load due to the lighter UI. I suppose that could be a factor if you have a very low-power machine, but it's really nothing to do with it. I'm talking about actual changes, not performance. E.g. when I have three 24" monitors set up, it takes a long time to move the mouse over to the "Start" button in Windows 7. In Win8, I can easily access it by the mouse (as well as the program tabs) on any monitor. Ditto for the settings menu (which you don't have in Win7 as such). I can easily configure different backgrounds for the monitors, it handles different resolutions of different monitors simultaneously whereas in Win7 that can be problematic. It's all round significantly improved. You say you only have one monitor, fine - not a plus for you, but many of us are used to using multiple monitors these days - particularly developers who want to use VMs for development or testing, but also graphics professionals, people who want communications in one window (mail, VoIP) and work in the other.