Windows 8 is a radical departure from anything Microsoft has done before. When you try it for the very first time, it feels a bit like stepping out onto ice. It is so slick as to be slippery. Commands and icons and apps and menus glide on and off screen and things zoom in and out of its Metro interface in a near vertigo-inducing fashion. Getting your feet beneath you is tricky.
But as you learn your way around the interface, instead of slipping you begin to glide. As your intuition and muscle memory overtake your need to reason out your actions, it becomes a wonderful and efficient way to navigate actions and data. There are still rough spots that can send you tumbling, but the consumer preview is already a far better product than the developer preview that came out in September. By the time the final version ships later this year, it's clear that Windows 8 is going to be a remarkable, daring update to the venerable OS. It is a departure from nearly everything we've known Windows to be. You will love it, or hate it.