As someone that maintains and keeps PCs of home users (including those for folks that use them in home-based businesses), I run into my share of "odd duck" PCs (and non-PCs, such as Macs, Android tablets, etc.). What arrived on my doorstoop today definitely falls into the "odd duck" category, though I had actually seen them before.
The arrival is an HP TouchSmart 310 - a direct competitor to other entries in the desktop AIO category, such as the Dell Inspiron One, various AIOs from Vizio, and even Apple's iMacs. The TouchSmart 310 predates Windows 8 - in fact, they mostly shipped with Windows 7 (either Home Premium or Ultimate in x64). The owner brought in an upgrade version of Windows 8.1 Pro and Office 2013 for installation, since he knew I had been running both on my non-touch desktop.
First off, one thing I had been pointing out is that Windows 8 (and even 8.1) can still be used with a keyboard and mouse - in short, like any other version of Windows before it.
Where I have been curious is just how well touch support would work with desktop applications.
That depends on the touch hardware, apparently - I had no problems doing general install-related tasks , even for desktop software, entirely via the touch-screen. Where things get hard is doing finer-grained tasks - however, that is more a failure of the current state of the touch-screen hardware art, not Windows. (You can still use mice or other hardware alongside touch-screen displays - even simultaneously with such hardware. So much for the "one or the other" rubric that's been coming from critics of the touch-screen computing metric. I had dismissed similar criticism due to experiences using Android, and even iOS, with keyboards; Windows 8.1 is just as neutral as either Android or iOS in this regard - as expected.)
Basically, Windows 8.1 is adaptable to the user - instead of forcing the user to adapt to it.