Windows 8.1 is Okay
I believe once people get past the learning curve and start working with Windows 8.1 they will like it so if you are switching to Windows 8.1 just give yourself enough time to learn the new interface. Unfortunately when Windows 8.0 came out even the most die hard "I want all new gadget first" fans were disappointed and frustrated at the sudden unexpected learning curve. Apparently Microsoft staff forgot to beta test it on the local communities that each version would be sold in. I could tell that things were bad when people started returning brand-new computers to the store and demanding that either they put Windows 7 on the computer or take it back. Hopefully they'll sample the local versions of Windows 9 in their local community before that is released.
Windows 8.1 quickly followed, and it is much better than their initial release. Compared to previous versions of Windows, the start menu is still different and lacking, but at least there is one there. The start menu shortcuts for the applications are different but users will quickly find it and get used to it. The Desktop Shortcut requires uninstalling most of the spam and creating your own desktop shortcut manually but it should be okay. Of course do not try to uninstall the Spy Drive (whoops I mean the Sky Drive), it simply won't uninstall easily, apparently there is a strong need by Microsoft to have you save your personal data on their Cloud. It makes it so much easier for them to know everything about you. Most Windows 7 desktop users who simply jumped into upgrading to Windows 8 will only benefit from an early learning curve. The question now becomes, will people use Windows 8 on their portable devices and what does business get out of it?
Since Microsoft discourage their Microsoft Certified Trainers by charging them a fee plus having them jump through hoops to remain certified as MCTs, Microsoft has failed to educate the American public on the benefits of their new products. A lot of personnel department have no idea what an MCITP is supposed to be able to do and so Microsoft is going back to the MCSE although it will no longer stand for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer; but will that help them to educate American businesses on what's new about their Operating System and other software products? For the answer, you simply need to ask the question, will the average business rely on spam emails or telemarketer from probably another country to educate them on what direction their business should go, and what software licenses they should lock themselves into? Is this why Microsoft has stopped growing at the rate it once was, and why Google and Apple despite their mistakes have held off Microsoft in certain areas? If businesses are moving away from depending on their own staff that rely on them and moving towards third-party strangers on the Cloud to handle their technical needs then this should just be a temporary setback for Microsoft.
Some people prefer the Windows 7 desktop
To customize windows 8.1 how you want it right-click the taskbar and choose what you prefer.