You can still use most of your same programs from Windows 7 in Windows 8 the same way. In Windows 8, you can use Store apps (Metro UI) and desktop programs (apps).
Windows 8 Release Preview Compatibility Center: Find Updates, Drivers, & Downloads
If you got the HDD space, you could set up a dual boot with a 90-day evaluation of Windows 8 Enterprise version for a test drive if you like.
Download Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation
Dual Boot Installation - Windows 8 and Windows 7 or Vista