You make a bunch of well-reasoned arguments in both posts. I think there's a lot of FUD because it is so different, and there's the issue of the OS being tailored to the touch screen.
I'll steal what someone else posted in another thread and say, it's a lot like office 2007 and 2010. Most people who are real experts in the office applications from 2003 and before hate that darn ribbon with a passion. People who've never used it before, think the ribbon is awesome. Windows 8 is like the ribbon.
To be honest, I was looking at a slide show the other day and thought to myself, "huh, it looks like Windows 3.1 with better graphics." The slide show was showing like tiles grouped together, which reminded me of the windows you launched everything from, pre-start button and task bar.
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