There's a huge difference there. GFWL is developed by Microsoft, whereas Skype was recently purchased by Microsoft and I'm not certain there has yet been a single release that was Microsoft-developed. Skype didn't just start working in the CP, either; there was an update for Skype that worked in the Dev Preview shortly after the Dev Preview was released. My daughter still Skypes regularly on the Dev Preview without issue as I haven't updated her laptop yet. Also, I never expected it to be trouble-free. I did expect there to be a large number of people complaining to Microsoft that it wasn't working, and there was nobody in any public forum that I could find. Whether it's a good platform or not it doesn't change the dependency a large number of games have on it.
I've never found GFWL a particularly compelling platform at the best of times - in fact I've always found it pretty intrusive and unnecessary. And just because GFWL is from Microsoft doesn't mean you should expect it to be trouble free, as Skype is owned by Microsoft but performed terribly on the Developer Preview.
I have always had the latest version installed, and never got any errors except that the marketplace fails to load (but things you have previously purchased in the marketplace still download and install fine). That's what was aiding to my confusion: it was obviously installed correctly and the client would launch manually, but it still wouldn't load when a game was launched. Even though I have gotten it working now I may try this patch anyway and see if that resolves the marketplace issue (and hope that it doesn't mess it up again). I didn't know about the patch, so thank you for posting this!
You need to download the Windows 8 version. GfWL has a DLL failure in Windows 8 if you have an old version installed, and you will only get a direct error about it if you attempt to launch it manually rather than allowing a game to launch it on your behalf. If you attempt to launch the actual GfWL executable rather than only having a game run the embedded version, it will give you an error message telling you to install what I am linking to you now:
Edit: Maybe I jumped the gun there. That's not a patch you linked me to, that's a zip file with an audio file and a powerpoint presentation.