As a long-time anti-Microsoft person, I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I actually really like Windows 8. Here's why.
A lot of people get hung up on the tile view. I don't particularly care for it. Indeed, I have found several aspects disorienting, especially how to get to my old familiar control panels. Here's what made everything better, and indeed actually made Windows 8 superior to any other version of Windows I've used.
At the tile view, you can just type, and your computer will automatically start searching. It searches for programs, files, and settings. For example, if I want to run chrome, I simply type chrome and windows finds it. I can just hit enter, and go. No mouse involved. If I want to change my system environment variables - how the hell do I find that control panel? I don't have to find that control panel. Type in "variable" at the tile view, and under the settings results, I get a direct link to the panel for editing these variables.
So, the tile view for the purposes of being a UI sucks. It's overly customized for touchpad people. I agree. But the ability to simply type and have windows be so active in finding what I want to do is amazing. It's like they've turned the mouse experience into the touchpad experience, and enhanced the keyboard experience, which now can stand independent of the mouse experience much more strongly. It is empowerment of the keyboard for interaction with the UI. I don't want a touchpad. I like interacting with Windows 8 from my keyboard.
So, the tile view sucks. How do we work around that? Well, essentially all of the applications I use do not have "metro-style" full-screen views. They open in the desktop view, which aside from the absence of a start button, is the same as Windows 7. Thus, I have not lost my familiar experience with, say, Steam. The start screen for me serves only as a quick way to search for things to interact with on the alternate desktop view.
A lot of people (notably Gabe Newell of Valve) are upset with Microsoft for moving towards the Apple model of closed-garden software. I'm with them. If Microsoft shifts further, and begins to remove the alternate desktop environment for me to run things like Steam, I'll cry foul, too. For now, I'm enjoying the ability to utilize my keyboard for several mundane Windows interactions.
Linux still makes several things (mostly programming) easier, and the file hierarchy makes more sense, but Windows 8 gives my hugely positive experience with KDE a run for its money.