I have been using Windows 8 Pro 32Bit as my desktop computer operating system for almost 2 weeks, and my experience have been pretty good on a non-touch screen monitor, and keyboard and mouse HPa1720n computer desktop which originally came with Windows Vista Home Premium. All Windows software like MS Office 2007, Google Chrome, Gom player, etc which I use on Windows 7 work on Windows 8, and they seem to start up a few seconds faster.
I also notice my startup, shutdown, sleep, wake from sleep, and restart times are also faster in Windows 8 Pro then Windows 7 home premium on my older computer with a Dual-Core 1.86 GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, onboard video, and 320GB of hard drive. There is also less freezing when shutting down, and restarting my computer.
Web browsers like Firefox, Internet Explorer 10, and Google Chrome, and other programs also seem to crash less, and seem more responsive when loading pages and scrolling through web sites. I can also now watch HD video on YouTube without any slowdown problems when I have a few tabs or windows open in my web brower, or other programs like MS Word open.
Windows Defender which is the built-in Antivirus also is easy to use, and does not slow down my PC when it is running in the background protecting my PC or doing quick scans.
Windows Update is also easy to use, and automatically update my computer to the latest updates for Windows and Windows/Microsoft software like Internet Explorer 10, Office, etc.
The Windows Store app is also pretty nice since it makes it easy for finding apps like games to install in Windows 8.
After using the Windows 8 Start Screen, and Desktop user interface for 2 weeks, I find it pretty easy to use. I like how the Start Screen hides the desktop when I’m not using it, and finding program shortcuts in the Start Screen is simpler then the desktop when there are a lot of icons, files, and folders which filled up an entire desktop.
The plain 2D user interface in the desktop mode in Windows 8 is also pretty nice since it seems to use less system resources then the Windows 7 user interface with the transparent frosty Aero user interface.
For both Windows Start Screen, and the Desktop, it is easy to change the color, background, and theme in Windows settings like previous versions of Windows. You can also download a lot of custom themes at Microsoft website.
Windows 8 also has a search engine in the top or bottom right corner charms bar which let me search for files, programs, and apps which is useful for quickly searching for files, programs, and apps. Windows Key is found on your keyboard with the Windows logo.
In Windows 8, there are a few useful shortcut keys for the keyboard like Windows Key + X which shows a menu with buttons to the search, Desktop, Control Panel, File Explorer, and more.
Windows Key launches the Start Screen. Right clicking on the start screen will show an all apps button which shows you all your programs and apps installed on your computer.
Windows + W launches Windows Search.
Windows Key+C launches the Charms Bar on the right of the screen, so you can search for stuff in Windows
In the Windows 8 desktop, you can press ALT-F4 to launch the shutdown window to quickly Shutdown Windows, or restart, or sleep it.
The learning curve on Windows 8 is also simple for me since there are now a lot of YouTube videos, online tutorials, books, and tons of other content both online and offline on how to use Windows 8. I was also prepared for Windows 8 before Windows 8 was release by watching a few YouTube videos on how to use Windows 8 on YouTube, so I knew how to use most programs, and do most tasks in Windows 8 before I bought Windows 8.
Also, I mainly use online programs like WordPress, Gmail, Forums, Blogs, and other online programs on websites, so as long as I know how to open a web browser, I can do most of my everyday tasks like e-mail, writing on this blogs, and keeping in touch with people. I only use a few desktop apps like Filezilla FTP Client, and Microsoft Word, and they both work great in Windows 8, and are easy to launch into the desktop with the Windows Start screen, or Windows search. All desktop apps like Google Chrome, GOM Player, etc gets launch into the Desktop in Windows 8, and Apps like the Weather App gets launch in full screen mode, and to exit the full screen mode I just pull down on the top edge of the window with my mouse while holding the left button of the mouse until the window goes down, or I can use ALT-F4 to close the Window. To switch between open apps in full screen mode, I move the mouse to the top left corner and move my mouse downwards from the top left corner to reveal thumbnail images of open apps which I can click on to open. To switch between the desktop, and start screen, I just click the bottom left corner which switches to the desktop or startscreen depending on which screen you are on.
Plus, by simply exploring the operating system by moving my mouse to the corners of the desktops, and looking through the menu and settings, I learn how to do most of the basic tasks like opening apps, closing apps, shutting down, and restarting which I need to do to use Windows 8.
My favorite feature about Windows 8 is it runs smoother and faster then my older computer then Windows 7 and Vista which tend to freeze more in my experience using both Windows 7 and Vista on the same computer. I can now watch online video on YouTube while I have a big program like multiple tabs, and Windows open on my Web browsers while I am also recording a TV show with Win TV 7 for my Hauppauge HVR-850 USB TV Tuner.
I now no longer have to upgrade my RAM to 2-3 GB in Windows 8 for decent performance doing my everyday tasks which include recording video, watching HD online video, word processing and web browsing. But, if I stuck with Windows 7, my performance would be less desirable with 1GB of RAM, and I would experience more freezes, and slowdown when watching online flash videos in 720P HD while recording a TV show in high quality mode.