I have been using this system for about a month. It takes a bit of time to get use to, but it is a good bit of software. 8.1 should be even better. Its strength, across the board, in mobile devices is obvious. I suspect that most criticism comes from people that have not used it.
Corporate America sure is avoiding it like plague. I have touched it and hate it, and as a systems professional I TOTALLY ENDORSE WINDOWS 7. Which has excellent security and features and is being ignored by Microsoft. Windows 8 is the Ballmer version of OS/2 WARP. Anybody remember that failed project which IBM refused to abandon for years.
I am also one of those people that have had good experiences with Windows 8. Steve Jobs forced MSFT's hand with iPhones and iTablets that worked successfully beyond anybody's expectations. 8.0 came on too fast because MSFT was, and still, is playing catch-up.
8.1, being universal, will bring MSFT back into the game and narrow the gap. With Ballmer on his way out, and a new corporate structure in place, MSFT stock will see new all time highs in 2014. Enterprise and games are still dominate for MSFT. The trick is to maintain (or bring back) all of the good feature of Windows 7, while expanding the mobile features of Windows 8. That is the focus of Windows 8.1, and cloud development.
No, the problem is that the Metro has no real place for use on a desktop, and it clunky to use with keyboard and mouse. It can possibly be modified in the future to work better. On the WP8 and tablet side of things, the problem is in app availability. You need more than the basics, such as local news and road reporting apps, which are not being written to Microsoft, but are available on iOS and Android. So there are issues on both sides. Does the new Win8 OS do better in some respects -- yes, certainly does. Can phones run on WP software efficiently - yes most certainly. A lot of work ahead in catching up. They may want to separate the two environments and hopefully find more people interested in writing of apps. The base is OK, but it is simply done wrong otherwise.