I'd like to start this comment with a warning:
THIS COMMENT CONTAINS AN UNPOPULAR OPINION. If you feel the urge to reply in order to tell me how stupid and how ignorant I am, please refrain from doing so unless you can disprove me with facts and logical reasoning - in which case I will gladly submit to you.
Now, on to the matter at hand.
I like Windows 8. I believe it to be better than Windows 7. I like the start screen. I like the tiles. I love the added features and functionality. It's all I could ever want in an OS - except, of course, for things I do not know of because they don't exist yet. For as long as I have been using Windows 8 (which is about two months now) I have only been pleased by Microsoft's latest OS.
I have no knowledge of nor experience with Vista as I directly went from XP to 7. However, in my opinion, Windows 8 is nowhere near as big of a failure as the majority of people claim Vista to be. In the future, when I too upgrade to Windows 9, or whatever the next edition shall be called, I will look back fondly upon Windows 8, and cherish my memories of the fluid start screen and the simplified apps.
I suppose all this ranting requires some justification, so here it is:
Windows 8 still has all the features of Windows 7 - and even more. Think, for one, of the message that pops up when you're copying files; with Windows 7 we simply saw a bar slowly filling up; with Windows 8 there's an optional graph showing copying speed, and you have the option to pause the process.
Windows Explorer too has been modified - and for the better, I believe. Although I cannot deny that Windows 8's Windows Explorer takes some getting used to, it is undoubtedly simplified, which brings me to my next point:
Windows 8 has overall been simplified - no more fancy Aero theme that hogs all your computing power - no doubt done so that Windows 8 may run on mobile devices without performace isssues. Which is a great thing for those of us who work on low end laptops, due to tight budgets.
All this also accounts for why I'm purchasing a Nokia Lumia - not because of the system specs, but purely for the OS.