missing the point
Dear professional engineers - You're right that Windows 8 is mostly a pig's ear of a UI, and 8.1 doesn't fix the problem. It's a botch, but in slagging off the UI for being "marketing led" you miss the point of what Microsoft is up against. It's got nothing to do with selling touchscreens.
Microsoft's UI designers are quite right to note that the way we use touch on smartphones and tablets will influence our future expectations of ANY UI ... Quite how it will influence those expectations is not clear. Windows 8 is useful in that it shows what the wrong answer looks like. As far as I can see if you're trying to do serious work with a keyboard you'll always want to be able to move the pointer/selection device without lifting your hands from the desk but this doesn't mean that touch will have no role in the future of serious work ... because if whatever feels intuitive depends on what we do elsewhere then things like swiping gestures may be important. Credit to Microsoft for seeing this coming, though as I say, they haven't got it right.
But the real issue is around all that signing in, cloud account mullarky. Microsoft and other big software vendors are desperate to move us to a subscription model because they then have a guaranteed annual income. They will claim added value through universal access not only to files but programs and settings etc, as well as an accelerated schedule of incremental improvements. But it's smoke and mirrors. If they offered these "benefits" as standalone options I suspect few of us need them or even want them. They need to do this bundling of dubious benefits primarily because they are running out of compelling improvements. The cash cow has matured, to the point where commercially it's dying. Win7 was in most respects the best UI ever achieved on a computer. There's room for incremental improvement, and actually Win8 on the desktop side delivers quite a lot of that. But how much is it worth? That's the question Microsoft and others don't want us to ask. Ten or twenty quid perhaps (ironically the price of an OSX upgrade) but MSFT needs us to carry on paying a lot more than that to sustain its profitability.
Trouble is that the alternatives are not for the moment viable. Apple's UI on a large screen (ie more than 17 inches) is nearly as bad as Metro. I've been trying Ubuntu and Linux Mint, hoping they could meet my needs but they just don't (no decent email client/PIM, or web design client, no proper Evernote, Wunderlist, and the font handling is shite). But if Microsoft doesn't get it right next time those LInux limitations are going to start seeming increasingly unimportant.