It creates an impediment to the workflow that is used by many to actually do stuff. This has been argued to the bone though and I'm not re-entering this debate. People who use their PC primarily for content consumption are, generally, happy with it and those who don't, generally, aren't. I'm not against the Start Menu existing. I'm annoyed by the removal of any options to control this thing, but as I said this was done for business reasons. You can't really use Desktop users as pawns to try and pull developers from iOS and Android when the only devices you're guaranteed to sell, traditional PCs, are flooded with users opting out of the new system.
I think that is a fair point, although I will be very interested in seeing how many people that use it to do work actually feel held back. Right now we sure have alot of 'noise' on the internet, but thats a fairly unreliable way to prove a point. I only say that becuase my own experience has felt as held back. Again, its not to say everyone feels the same, but I feel like there is a division forming even among content creators (i.e. people using it for work, not email and internet or gaming alone).
I also agree that this was a calculated risk by MS to make sure the general public got to see the metro ui, even if its just for the start screen. I also think they are well aware that this will upset many power users in the process. My guess is that they felt that they could appease power users down the line via various updates (since they are aiming for a rapid update cycle now)
I think general users will actually handle the transition better then most power users. While standard desktops will be sold in large numbers without any touch capability, the large growth in All-in-One configurations could mean that many new buyers get the touch experience from the beginning. The big unknown is tablets, especially any that can double as a laptop with a keyboard dock. There is so little stock out there, so we wont really know what customers are interested in for several months, at least until the Surface Pro launches. By Janurary, there should be a flood of tablets, laptops, and all-in-ones on the market to choose from.
Just to go into the consumer reaction a bit more, even though it is early, I wanted to share my experiences with customers buying windows 8 pcs. So far, it seems like if we take a few minutes to show the changes, people can get up to speed fairly quickly.
We have already sold a dozen or so windows 8 systems (laptops, desktops, and all in ones) and the initial response has been good. We show them a demo unit and show off the fact there is no start menu and how the start screen works. If the system has a touch screen, we show off Metro, but if it does not, then we focus on the Start Screen only. We show off the charms menu for getting to things like search and shut down along with the option to right click in the lower left corner in order to get to control panel, etc. We also point out that there is no link to 'Computer' or 'My Computer', but all you need to do to access the same area is to click on the folder icon on the taskbar. Keep in mind that while many of these people are your average user, a couple have been professionals say in using AutoCAD or Photoshop (not sure if you would call them power users since they dont know the ins and outs of windows, but they are definitely content creators, not consumers)
So I am curious to see what the trend is overall for the market. I feel that MS can easily fix the issues being raised both on the Metro side and the desktop, so I really hope for their sake that they come through on a rapid update schedule. That would make alot of power users feel more confident in MS trying to make things better for them.