Before people get me wrong on this thread, I am not a fan of Windows 8. I'm going to explain why in a bulleted list but please consider my environment before you rebut my points:
My PC environment
I sit at a big desk in a room with large speakers and a big screen TV at the other end, on this desk is a desktop PC, and an iMac. Hence 2 27" monitors. Infront of my desk is a couch for when i wanted to watch the TV. So I can keep my vision I sit about 1m away from the screens, so its understandable that touch is something that I can't really use on a regular basis.
If anyone can pro windows 8 can give me a point to point rebuttal of these, please do so and I'll swap to Windows 8 Permanently tomorrow.
- As stated above, Touch is a big nono for me, so this makes the Modern UI essentially useless, as while it's possible to use it with a Mouse and keyboard, its hardly ideal.
- I tend to have anything between 5 and 100 items on my screen at a time, notes, small sized applications, videos, browsers you name it. So the idea that I can split my screen in half and have the luxury of opening TWO windows only is a joke, considering MS is likely considering removing the desktop entirely by Windows 9 or 10, Windows will no longer meet my needs as it is unable to display multiple applications acceptably
- I can live without the start menu, my Mac has no start menu and I've had no trouble launching all the apps on it by adding a list type folder to the dock, This is partially solved by the start screen, but not in a way that is comfortable
- Huge numbers of tiles require an MS account, while this doesn't bother my needs as such since my device is always online, I'd hate to try and access data I've saved on say Windows Calendar in an offline environment such as on my laptop in a presentation room, displaying things to people on say a construction site, or on a train. (Here there are no wireless on trains, and it's often hard enough to get any cellphone signal, let alonr 3g or lte). The impracticality of it aside, if I want to store data offline using every app on the computer that doesn't specifically require internet access (messaging and games essentially) I should have the capability to do so.
- On a big screen its a usability nightmare to have hidden buttons on the sides of the screen. I can't think of anything worse than having to be incredibly careful about where I place my windows incase I accidentally mouse over some hidden feature when I take something from that Window
- ILike keyboard shortcuts, but my dad doesn't, so claiming that there are 1000x new ways of doing things, I'm not interested if for no other reason than stupid amount of phone calls I'll get from, that I can't help with because WIndows 8 is so radically different and probably has 100 new things I've not seen having only a few hours experience of it.
- I have little use for tablets, and find them a waste of money since for the same price a small notebook (ultrabook?) offers better functionality, so why would I want a tablet OS on my desktop?
Those points are easy to respond to imo. Your first 3 points all deal with the metro side of Windows 8. That side is designed to be touch first and geared toward media consumption for the most part. Think of Metro as the ipad experience for windows. So your points show why Metro is not made for all scenarios. Thankfully, Windows 8 also has a desktop environment that is equivalent to 7 with several new features and improvements on existing ones found in windows 7. Since you point out that you werent tied to the start menu, then the only differences are the hot corners and the charms menu.
Point 4 relates back to my above point. Its not that the tiles themselves require a MS account, its that MS now offers the option to save your metro experience (files, apps, settings, etc) in the cloud and to do that, you need an MS account. But you dont have to do this. I have setup a local account and used Metro apps without being online. Now you lose some functionality like live updates and live tile info, but you can still interact with apps. Also, if you want local access to files stored on say Skydrive, all you need to do is install the Skydrive app to the desktop and your files can be in constant sync, meaning that when your somewhere that does not have internet, your files are sitting there to be used. If you want to avoid the cloud stuff completely, then you can just use the desktop side with apps like Outlook.
Regarding point 5, I get what your saying about the hot corners, but my personal usage hasnt run into the issue. Yes the corners are triggered if you move your cursor there, but I haven't triggered the charms bar nearly as often as i thought i might. I am using a 24" LCD (1920x1200 res), so its a big screen. The only times I have run into this issue is when closing a full screen window. A couple of times I have triggered the charms menu, but it never has prevented my click from registering on the close button and it goes away very quickly. Again, this has not happened much (only when I overshoot the close button and actually push the cursor into the corner). I dont know the behavior with multiple monitors, so someone else will need to chime in on how it behaves when dragging windows from one to another. I will say this though, the charms bar does not show up unless you go to the corners, so if your moving windows through the middle, you shouldnt trigger anything. I happen to also have a pc with Win 8 on it that is connected to a large tv (60" LCD 1920x1080) and I have yet to trigger the charms bar accidently. It feel like the larger the screen, the less likely I am to overshoot the close button on full screen windows. So for me, the hot corners havent been any more intrusive then the buttons that use to be there for those frunctions.
So on to point 6, I really dont think you need to be worried about this one. Yes you can use keyboard shortcuts, but it does not need to be complicated. If your dealing with someone that is coming from windows 7, then its very easy to get them up to speed. I made those points a couple pages back in the thread. If your not using metro, then all you have to know is how the start screen works, the hot corners, and the charms bar. Everything else works as it did in 7. Most people didnt even use the start menu in 7, so it makes it even easier. Of course if you yourself dont try out 8, then it will be hard to support people using it. Trying to troubleshoot a problem without seeing what the see is almost impossible. That would be like trying to help people on a Mac when you dont actually have experience with it.
Finally, point 7. Considering how you want to use the system, you have no use for a tablet os, so metro can be largely ignored. The desktop side has some nice enhancments imo that are worth it if they apply to you. I dont know why so many like to paint Windows 8 as metro only, but the reality is much different. There are two experiences in this system. Luckily, you can almost completely ignore one if you arent using the other. Since the start screen is not an issue for you, then think of this as similar to Windows 7 with Media Center. Media Center is a totally different experience compared to the desktop on 7, and yet there are plenty of reasons to use one side or the other depending on how you want use the system. Same goes for Metro and Windows 8. In fact, Metro is an evolution of the media center experience in many ways. I would suggest you try and demo it as deeply as you can before deciding. If the multi-monitor setup turns out to not be an issue, then I think the improvements to the desktop warrant a look.