People seem to have very short memories -- Cast your mind back to the introduction of XP -- people absolutely HATED it at first - but it went on to become the longest running OS in History ever - even including the veritible IBM Mainframe OS - MVS 3.8 (which believe it or not you can run totally via the Hercules emulator even on a small laptop -- power in modern machines would swamp those the old Mainframes !!!) -- you had huge banks of diskdrives (3330's I'believe which only had 13030 bytes per platter !!!). ibm 3330 - Google Search
Vista was only bad because the hardware wasn't up to it when it was released -- if you run it now on a machine it actually isn't too bad - and remember Windows 7 was built basically out of the experiences with Vista.
Windows 7 was probably the only OS that Ms has introduced that got a good reception from the start probably people just wanted rid of the poorly performing VISTA..
W8 though is a different animal entirely --it has to handle things like smart phones and tablets which rely heavily on touch screens and don't need windowed apps or multi - monitors so Ms was in a bit of a hardplace here -- press on with a load of different OS'es or try and make a common interface so a user would have roughly the same experience whether they are using a phone, a tablet or a computer --and in fact the W8 interface isn't a lot different from Android either so anybody using Windows for the FIRST TIME who has also used any sort of smart phone would be quite familiar with the interface.
Obviously a One size fits all won't please everybody -- but I can see the logic of not having to maintain and develop several totally different lines of OS.
W8 has some good features in it, and as I said before you can't relate W8 stats to Windows 7's --for starters hardware needs less upgrading these days than before --even a low end laptop probably has more CPU power in it than the average user (casual home "Mom & Pop" type of thing with some kids probably surfing or "Face-booking" etc) really needs.
Not only that - people are buying different devices like tablets and smart phones instead of full blown PC's so the License issues of W8 are counted up differently - again be careful of stats between Windows 7 and W8.
For serious desktop user -especially with large external monitors the new metro GUI is an abomination - but it's relatively simple to get into the "Classic desktop" and there are a load of FREE 3rd party add-ons which make the W8 desktop identical to Windows 7 -and even bring back the classic menu.
Sometimes I go DAYS without using a computer -- I can do a lot of casual stuff like email, web surfing, travel booking etc all on a smart pghone these days --even replying to these Forums at times from a smart phone. I think most people these days don't need to use their PC's as often as they used to --and for some a tablet is really all they need -- and I can say that unlike a desktop computer using Windows 7 on a tablet is a HORRIBLE experience -- the touch is Iffy and using the classic menu is a real pain whereas on W8 just slide across like a phone and you are into your application.
Where Ms went totally bonkers is in W2012 server -- although you can run it with only a basic GUI or even in command line it is possible to "enable Desktop experience" which then starts up like W8 the full metro screen -- now if anybody has ever in their entire lives ever used a server they will realize how totally idiotic having metro interface on it is.
I do expect W8 (or its successor) to make a few more concessions to desktop power users --we'll have to wait and see -- but it IS usable and for a lot of people quite OK.
So just wait until later when we see more Windows 8 phones (after a lot of initial criticism --the Windows 7 phones were frankly Terrible and you wouldn't even want to be seen with the handsets --definitely hugely uncool).
However the new W8 ones are getting some very good reviews indeed, and wait for the MS SURFACE PRO tablet --to say nothing of machines like the HP envy set of computers where the screen can be removed completely and it acts as a very nice W8 conveniently portable tablet.