Re: The problem with Windows 8.1
Um .. you can get a Start menu for Windows 8.x either for free or for a nominal fee (e.g. Start8 is five bucks). I did that a long time ago. With the boot to Desktop and the Start8, Windows 8 is almost like Windows 7, except perhaps it is a bit quicker, and ships with Hyper-V.
I get that folks hate Windows 8.x. I groaned too when they removed the Start button from the beta. And I hammered away at the keyboard pointing out to anyone who'd read just how much I hated Metro. On the Windows 8.0 Desktop PC it amounted to nothing more than a cheap and sleazy marketing scheme. But, you know, with Windows 8.1 toning things down, and with Start8, it doesn't seem much of an issue to me anymore.
Microsoft though, must put Windows 8.x behind (and be very careful regarding Metro). It's doing really really badly for an MS OS.
The good thing is that there seem to be nice improvements in the pipe for Windows 10, both in features and appearance. Looking forward to it.