There may still be hope afterall
If do away with the Charms & Metro interface (make them optional if they must on desktop), while retaining the core improvements, then it might have a chance to become a resounding success like WIndows 7 did.
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The latest bit of news, while unconfirmed and subject to change, is that Microsoft may be bringing back the full Start button experience. According to Paul Thurott, the next update to Windows (important to note that he has not confirmed the name ‘threshold”) will include the option to restore the Start menu to its full glory. This is an important change from what Windows 8.1 offers which is simply a button that only provides familiarity but little functionality.
Another feature that is reportedly coming will allow you to run Modern apps in windows on the desktop. This functionality is already available via third-party applications like ModernMix (disclaimer) but being natively built-in will likely appease everyone who uses Windows.Next.
These are small, but very important updates. Specifically, both of these ‘features’ have come from feedback of consumers. It’s clear that Microsoft is back-tracking a bit on its ambitious Windows 8 deployment after harsh feedback from consumers.