Immediate impressions (opinion subject to change upon further use):
Install was pretty smooth, less than 40 minutes including the little bit of info I had to input. It wanted me to log in with an email account to link to their AppStore, but the option to skip that is pretty easy to find. I skipped it.
Windows Explorer still exhibits behavior that bugs me: when in List view and there are enough columns to need to scroll, doubleclicking moves the desired item to the far left, instead of opening it. Notepad++ has been installed.
The App View/new start button is completely useless to me. It removes functionality that I use all the time and does not add anything. Example: in Win7, I shut down via keyboard: Win | Right Arrow | Enter. Closest thing I could find on the web was Win M/D to show desktop, Alt F4 to bring up shutdown menu, Enter if it's on the option I want, arrow key if not. Not an improvement.
Hot Corners suck on multimon, although multimon support is definitely improved.
The applications (as opposed to Apps) I've installed have mostly worked fine: Firefox, Notepad++, Explorer++. Currently audio is not working but the card is not detected and I believe that's an, uh, idiosyncrasy of my Creative X-Fi and/or the P5B. Also couldn't get Shpeck/Milkdrop to work in Foobar 1.1.11, but that's a DirectX error and I haven't updated the video driver yet. AMD does have a Win8 Preview driver out.
Had a permissions issue saving the AMD driver directly from Firefox to my Program Setups folder on a separate drive, but was able to copy it from the Desktop. That will need to get fixed.
May or may not post more impressions/reviews.
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Yeah it's NOT LIKE[/edit] Star Trek, the ODD[/edit] numbered ones suck.
Got audio working. I hadn't seen my X-Fi in Device Manager previously, so when I got home today I disconnected it, booted up, shut down, reconnected it, booted up again. This process has worked for me before. I may not have looked hard enough previously but it was visible now and said it needed a driver. I installed the Win7 driver I had on a local disk and have audio now.
Also got the issue where I couldn't save to another drive sorted, solution here, posted by user "DotCav" on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 8:22 AM.
Installed DX11 and Foobar is playing nice with Shpeck/Milkdrop. Have not installed/tested any games at this time. However, I am noticing some weirdness with text, as I type this - could be a cleartype setting. Also, the Volume slider in Foobar is aliased, which I don't believe it was in Win7 or XP.
General performance has been comparable to Win7 - about as snappy as you can expect with a rotating, non-performance oriented HDD.
Hot Corners are still aggravating me due to how hard it is to hit the bottom right corner of my main monitor (which is to the left of my secondary). Workaround is to go to the bottom right corner of my secondary, but that's extra far. However, I do like the idea - makes it easy to access Control Panel. I don't like the "Devices" charm, all it does (AFAICT) is tell me "Nothing can be sent from the desktop." Not seeing the benefit.
Verdict on Day 2: Would not buy, no reason exist to upgrade, and reasons exist to maintain. Progress has been made, however; if audio and DX were still a problem I would have already reconnected my boot drive that has Win7.
Install more software
The no easy shutdown keyboard shortcut thing is really annoying me. Today Alt F4 at the desktop wouldn't do anything for the first three or four tries. One rarely used but very useful thing I like about a keyboard shortcut is in case there are display issues and you can't see the GUI. A keyboard shortcut lets you do a proper shutdown, assuming you have it memorized.
On a larger scale, the trend of making the OS more geared towards non-power users is fine and understandable, but power users aren't going away, and we still want our OS to work the way we like.
Moving on. The OS has been working well. I got one BSOD last night, which didn't restart my PC as it claimed. I was just checking my Yahoo mail and it wouldn't load. AMD's beta Win 8 driver could be the culprit, or it could also be Daemon Tools lite, as I had installed that and not rebooted. Could be something else too. Can't single out any particular software as the problem and I don't consider this to be representative of the Win8 experience.
Hot corners is still p**sing me off, too. The app I have pinned that is the farthest to the left, is too close to that hot corner, so I tend to hit the "start" button instead of Firefox. I really don't understand the benefit of replacing the start button with a hot corner that has the exact same function but is less easily targeted by the cursor. It's the size of the Win7 "show Desktop" button on the bottom right (which is also still there, btw, but ONLY visible when you click - not by default and no hover. If you didn't know about it, you'll never know about it.
Played Stalker SoC (vanilla, 1.05) for a half hour or so, no issues, ran great.
I think this OS is not going to suffer from the difficulties that Vista did in terms of bugginess, but the GUI changes are really polarizing. I can't see any power users intentionally upgrading their desktops for this. I'm sure it works great on a touch device; all the settings default to what a touch device would.
I'll stop rambling now, as it appears, so far that you could summarize my posts in five words: works well, don't like it.
Summary: I reconnected my Win 7 hard drive on Thursday, about 4 days after trying Windows 8. I feel like I have tried it enough to know that it's not for me. I might write up another summary later about why, or I might get lazy since it's not anything terribly new.
Will not be upgrading to Win 8. No reason to and enough reasons not to.