In Windows 7 they emphasized appearance using transparency, themes, gadgets, and nice wallpapers. As a result performance was slightly slower. With Windows 8 they have slimmed down "dumbed down" the desktop using it seems just 16 colors in favor of the Metro touch-screen experience. This is similar to the approach Ubuntu Linux has taken. They are ignoring the desktop user in favor of the tablet user, which I feel is a big mistake. It is for this reason Ubuntu is no longer the top Linux distro. Instead users are embracing the Mint Linux distro which has maintained the traditional desktop.
Even after running updates, this build did not find my Intel GMA video card and instead displays a 64 hz refresh rate, which makes it even more ugly. AMD has released Win8 drivers recently. When selecting the desktop, the standard applications menu is no longer available. I had hunt to find the short-cuts for Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Snipping Tool, Notepad, WordPad, and Control Panel. By right clicking on the Computer Icon, selecting Properties, you can get to Control Panel.
Below are my screen shots. I'll be taking this off my test machine later today in favor of Win7 SP1.
You can download the ISO image files for 32 & 64 bit here: