Are you a Windows 8 fan?

windows 8 beta fishIt’s been almost a week since the download links for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview have gone live, and if you were one of the million or so previewers to get the bits, you’ve had some time to install and get familiar with Windows 8, Metro, and the assortment of App Previews that shipped with it or are available through the Windows Marketplace.

Unlike the Windows 7 beta launch, access to the download has been smooth, and if you want to try out Windows 8, it has been relatively easy to do so.

You’ve also had time to read some reviews and reaction from around the web, some of it better than others.  So many people have complained about the lack of a start button, setting the (old) desktop as default, the lack of restyling of the old interface, and the difficulty in finding the Shutdown button to Paul Thurrott over at WinSuperSite that he was moved to rant about “testers” who don’t get to work and test out the new interface:

All I’m looking for is a little common sense: Either test the Windows 8 Consumer Preview or don’t. But if you’re intent on using it as if it were Windows 7, please, I’m begging you. Stop wasting your time. And stop wasting mine.

Of course Microsoft itself would argue that this isn’t a “beta”, to be tested, but a Consumer Preview, to be reacted to, and there is certainly at least some negative reaction.  In fact, the number one Windows 8 question over at Microsoft Answers right now is:

Is there any way to completely disable Metro, and bring back the Windows 7 start-menu? (or, even better, the XP start menu!) Either a setting or a hack or whatever… Anything..

(via an @MaryJoFoley retweet)

But testing, or “previewing” Windows 8, and the reactions to it, are tempered by the lack of touch enabled hardware to test it on, and it’s fair to say that many of the complaints coming in about Windows 8 are with the mouse/keyboard interface, and not necessarily the OS itself.

So what do you think?  Are you a Windows 8 fan?  Are you sticking to your Windows 7/XP guns?  Are you waiting to get your hands on a Windows 8/ARM tablet before you form a reaction?  Does Windows 8 *need* touch?  Let us know what you think in the comments, and take our poll in the sidebar.