I personally hate Windows 8. I had to cleanup and defrag a windows 8 laptop and I almost smashed it due to not having a windows button. Then, after I upgraded to 8.1 on that machine, I found it to not be any better, even with that useless Windows Button.
Microsoft should stop trying to create an App Ecosystem on their computers and just keep it simple. I need to use a computer as a computer, not as a smartphone or tablet.
If I REALLY wanted the windows ecosystem, I would have bought a Windows Mobile Tablet and Phone with that piece of s**t computer.
Your story sort of matches mine and also my feeling about it. MS could have done this very simple. If you are installing on a device with a touch screen, then it would give the option to install the mobile/tablet type interface along with the desktop. However, on a pure desktop machine that isn't mobile or touch screen.. it should just install the regular desktop.
Anyway... you and I aren't alone in our feeling about this. Forums are full of folks complaining about it. People do hate change, but this was change just for the sake of doing so. This would have still allowed Windows to develop their mobile platform without alienating all their desktop users and especially enterprise users who in my opinion will never jump on the Windows 8 platform.
I think Linux is great. If I could get Microsoft Office and my legacy apps I use at work on Linux I would go to Linux full time. In fact on my other laptop I do only run Linux, but it's a pain in the ass to carry two laptops with me. Yes I dual boot, but it's not an ideal solution.