Mate - I used Win8 2 days ago for the first time ever. I've always liked Windows, and I think Win7 is *great*.
With Windows 8, I felt like I didn't know how to use a computer. I had to Google basic things, and struggled to find even things like the power off and reboot functions. Crazy. It was truly awful.
Because I'm the geek guy in my circle of friends + their friends, everyone asks me for advice buying laptops etc. I simply can't recommend Windows 8 machines to anyone.
I think now it will be "Windows 7 was great, but Windows 8 is just awful, save your frustration and pony up for a Macbook White/Air/Pro depending on your budget - you will be THAT much happier it's not funny."
I was thinking about recommending Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 for a friend who's Windows is borked. But although for straightforward use its GREAT, little things still trip desktop-Linux-for-the-masses up badly - like my printer - bog standard cheap HP Photosmart C4480. Plug and play in OSX, and I think in Windows too, but Linux needs a seperate download and text-mode install of a scanner driver, and the installed scan software (XSane) works a treat but is ugly and doesn't look at all newbie friendly.
Get all those types of niggles sorted and Linux could be ready for the masses within 2 years, but it's been the year of the Linux desktop (failed, of course) for so many years now, I just don't know when it will ever happen.
I tell my friends if they buy a Mac, I won't charge them for support. (I don't tell them it's because they'll never need it).
If I installed Linux for a friend, I'd "own" it, and it's issues *forever*
Windows - they can get anyone to fix for them if need be.
Rant rant rant.