1) Like the Modern UI or not, Windows 8 is a recommendable upgrade to Windows 7.
2) The main problem is, some of the changes MS made for its own needs to irritate many. The problem is there's not compelling reason to endure that on the desktop if you're happy with Windows 7, and why wouldn't you be, all the games are and are continuing to be written for it and all the meaningful apps are for it, including Office 2013.
3) The Surface RT has failed to win over the "consumer" users, defined as those buying iPads and cheap Androids to play games, email, browse and yes, to Facebook and Twitter.
4) I believe MS missed, is missing the mark because they have incorrectly read the market. The consumer tablet market is not people migrating from PCs. It is people who otherwise would not have a PC of any kind. PC users add-on a tablet. Because MS believed the desktop user was a dying breed (it is quite the opposite) they made decisions that alienated many of them. Which has been in the past, MS reliable bread and butter.
5) The potential of Windows 8 and even the Modern UI is quite exciting, but the problem is the decision makers at Microsoft IMO. If they backtrack a little and give loyal desktop users some of what they want (really what is that anyway, other than the start menu for which there are alternatives. that deserves a thread if we can avoid zealots on both sides tainting it with their stink.) this thing can turn around.
6) MS has overestimated the desire for touch on a desktop PC. It's really non-existent. What's driving it? Microsoft's need to penetrate the tablet and phone market. I believe the hybrid UI can work if they make improvements and provide strong full featured core Modern UI apps.
I'm going to create a topic on what improvements I would like to see. Because I think improving Windows 8 is better than going back to Windows 7. And that includes having to go back to Windows Media Player Classic to sync a Windows Phone 8 with a Windows 8 desktop. Absolutely ludicrous and inexcusable.
Windows 8's number will continue to grow by default, but it may never be "popular" if something doesn't change.
40 dollar deal is the only reason I upgraded, otherwise I would have stayed on win7.
$14.99 x 3 here. 2 new Desktops and a laptop. But I'm glad I did. There's nothing wrong with Windows 7, and plenty of irritation with Windows 8, but I can't go back. The Desktop Environment is too good.