It tells me you're full of it as: 1) I've never seen signs like that. 2) Users have downgrade rights. Big deal, it's been like that forever. 3) Then how did my local Best Buy sell 3 Windows 8.1 laptops while I was in for a keyboard for my Surface just today?
Windows has ALWAYS had a predefined UX. Users never asked for the Start Menu either, yet Microsoft forced it in Windows 95, much to the disdain of users. I'm not sure why all of a sudden you think things will change with Windows' development process. Again, it's not Linux. It's not designed to swap shells. This is nothing new. There's no rulebook saying desktop UIs need to have a Windows 95 look and feel to it. In fact, limiting desktops to that kind of UI limits their use. The UI was designed solely for a mouse, a technology which is slowly disappearing in favor of newer technologies. So no matter what, the UI is going to change to use these new input methods. There's no conspiracy here, simply normal evolution of PCs. Companies are finally adapting them to today's user base, the majority of whom want mobility. The majority of whom are ready to try new technologies without reservation. As a technology company Microsoft can only hold on to the old for so long until the strain becomes too much. Eventually, they have to push in a new direction to move forward.
Not sure why you think Metro on the desktop works the same as Metro on the phone. The desktop version of Metro allows more expandability in terms of multitasking and features. They look the same, but are quite different (yet similar) to use. If you can use one, you can easily use the other. That's the whole point of unifying the experience between devices.
You're missing out on a fun adventure. Metro on the desktop isn't as bad as you make it out to be, and looks quite nice (and even complementary to modern designed offices and homes) on widescreen monitors.
1) I was at two different Staples and an Office Max and they ALL had a sign posted in their computer display areas, I'll grab a picture the next time I'm in one. There is also a commercial for a computer store here in Tucson that expresly states they have Windows 7 on both desktops and laptops.
2) Yes, but I'm willing to wager the Windows 8 has been the most used, oh wait, they aren't putting Windows 8 Pro on many desktops are they?
3) And? If I needed a laptop/desktop, I'd go buy one and slap Windows 7 on as fast as the USB could load it! You think every buy around the holidays is buying for themselves?
Yes, they ALWAYS have, but they were really ever designing for the DESKTOP, something they are NOT doing now.
I've traveled that "fun adventure" 3 times and have gone back all three times, W8 RC/Beta, W8 and W8.1, the experience was a mess everytime. The sad thing? The 8.1 was the worst of them all, why? Microsoft has decided that video drivers are now "important" instead of "optional" and it decided to install the latest nVidia drivers, well they are a disaster for the 5/6 series cards. Then after I removed the "important" drivers for ones that work, Windows kept replacing them with the broken drivers until I turned off "auto install important updates" and had to chck for updates and then tell Windows not to install those drivers.. f'ing nice!
So I got the drivers sorted, then removed every tile with an ad... well, that left me the desktop and IE and few misc tiles I was never going to use, I don't like IE so that was gone, and I realized I might as well just boot to the desktop. Done. Tried to change the font - NOPE!, use a dark theme and be able to read the window tile - NOPE! Look, you have to give people some options, not everyone wants what Microsoft think is best. Windows 8/8.1 was a backward step for the desktop user who wants or needs a little bit of customization with resorting to reg hacks. The default font look terrible to me, I hate it and it should be trivial to change it, since 8 is built on 7 and they actually REMOVED it. WHY?
I'm glad people want mobility, good for them, is a desktop a mobile device? No. Is a non-touch screen laptop used like a mobile device? No. They had the soultion, Windows RT on the tablet and phone, but they wouldn't have been able to convince Office users to buy a device without Office. So, RT died a fast death when they realized Office Apps were going to be a ways off, can't get the enterprise market without - "a real keyboard and Office" to quote their commercials. They have to have the enterprise market to drive people to their store and they probably told the app designers they would be getting "all the desktop users as well" to convince people to take them seriously. You think the app designers would dump Apple or Android, without the promise of the entire Windows userbase? So agian, you gotta cram the store into the desktop, and you gotta have it where they can see it everytime they boot or push the Windows key. You sure as heck couldn't have it buried in the start menu...
I have a Nook HD+ running Android (CMMod 10.2) and it's beautiful and works great, but I sure wouldn't want to drive that with a mouse and I sure as heck don't want it on my desktop.
Look, we are just going to have to disagree, I only see Windows 8 as a last gasp stab at getting a real piece of the tablet market, and they hoped that the desktop users would be able to handle the crappy choices they made in their UI.