So Microsoft came up with the idea of essentially unifying the mobile and desktop OS experience and that's where we arrive at Windows 8. Windows Phone and Windows 8 are clearly siblings (both sport the tile-based, "Modern" user interface). A touch-sensitive OS that extends to all devices regardless of form factor sounds like a pretty interesting idea and in many ways it is. Unfortunately Windows 8 implements this in such an unfathomably clumsy and opaque manner, we can't help but be reminded of the disaster that was Windows Vista. If you're just buying a new Windows PC, chances are that it already has been upgraded to Windows 8.1. You'll want to check to see that it has Update 1 installed too (to verify this, check the Modern UI screen and, if you see a power button in the upper-right corner, your PC has Update 1). If not, install it because it removes some of the pain points from Windows 8 (see the rather comical video below where Microsoft's Joe Belfiore congenially introduces Update 1 to Windows 8.1 without ever actually admitting what a hot mess Windows 8/8.1 actually is).
The interface that keeps you guessing
Perhaps the most fabulous bit of stupidity was only allowing applications to be closed by touching (or click and holding with a mouse) the application header bar and swiping the application window down (so that you essentially throw the application away). The venerable "x" application close button in the upper-right corner of the screen was removed. The outcry by users was loud and immediate. It took Microsoft until recently to reintroduce the "x" (and its companion minimize) button with Windows 8.1 Update 1 (now, just hover your mouse at the top of the application window to see the header bar with the minimize and close buttons slide down into view). But wait, there's more... Microsoft introduced something called the "Charms" bar to contain key functionality like a global search bar (you'll need this a lot because you won't know where to find just about anything), and context-sensitive settings (settings for whatever thing you happen to be looking at on your screen at the particular moment). Sounds useful right? And where is this magic bar? You have to swipe from the right side of the screen in order to see the Charms bar (and this also lets you see the time which is hidden whenever you're in the "Modern" UI). Visual indicator for the Charms bar? Oh who needs that, the fun is in trying to figure out where it is, right?
There are plenty of other examples of design opaqueness/stupidity but suffice it to say that you're going to kiss off a month or so of productivity as you attempt to cut your way through the morass of the Windows 8 UI.