You all already know my first impression of Windows 8: I miss the start menu MRU list and really wish that the start screen wasn't full screen. But, first impressions can be deceiving, so therefore I have now installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview as my primary OS on my desktop (after making a system image of my Windows 7 install so I can easily revert).
Here's the challenge I'm taking: I will stick with Windows 8 as my primary OS for at least two weeks (14 days), in day to day usage, to see if it grows on me. There are only two things that can get me to revert sooner: something I need for work doesn't work, or Mass Effect 3 (to be delivered to me later this week) doesn't work or runs too slow.
So far, I have installed Windows 8, MSSE, and Office. I stand by my claim that the fact that all icons the Office installer creates just get dumped in the last start screen tile group and have to be manually removed or organized is very bad.
There's also some issues with networking. It defaulted to a private network, with sharing enabled (although nothing was apparently shared) and a home group automatically created. It did this when I installed it in a VM too, but I thought that was because the VM has a private IP address. But here I'm connected directly to the Internet, with a public IP address, so this default configuration is frankly dangerous!
What's more, finding out how to change it is too hard. In previous Windows versions, the words "Private network" in the network and sharing center were a link, and if you clicked that you could change to public. But they're not a link anymore, and the only way to change it now is to go to "Network" on the charms bar, right click the connection, and choose "Turn sharing on or off". It took me a good half our of failed Bing searches before I happened on this by accident.
The language settings are weird, as I said before. It seems the only way I can get English to "take" as the default is to override the defaults under the advanced language settings. Just relying on the order of the language list doesn't appear to work. Bing also has a tendency to display in a combination of English, Dutch and Japanese. I appear to have gotten it to stick to English, but we'll see if that stays that way.
At first, it appeared the default HDMI audio drivers didn't let me use my surround speakers (no audio heard from anything except left/right). The official Via drivers refused to install but could be convinced with compatibility mode. However, they produced very distorted sound. But, after removing those drivers, surround now somehow works.
I do really like the built-in ISO image mounting. Saves some time having to install a third-party tool for that.
Setting syncing appears to work, as this install automagically got the same background image, language settings, etc. as the VM install I had created before.
I'll use this thread to keep you apprised of my findings.