David Pogue, arguably best known as the tech columnist for the New York Times -- though I tend to think of him as the tech guy in Scientific American and the "making stuff" guy on PBS's "Nova" -- wrote or cowrote seven "For Dummies" books (including on Macs, magic, and opera). In 1999 he started his own series of books, the Missing Manuals. His "Windows 8: The Missing Manual," due to arrive next month, will be the 120th book in the Missing Manual series. Keep up with his far-flung adventures on Pogue's Pages.
Individually, the two environments of Windows 8 -- the regular desktop and what I call TileWorld for touchscreens -- are excellent. The massive failure is Microsoft's decision to superimpose them in really confusing ways. You can't live entirely in one world or the other; you have to keep popping back between environments. Then there's all the duplication: two Internet Explorers, two Control Panels, two photo-management apps, two email programs, two ways to right-click, and so on.
What do I really think? It's staggeringly confusing. In writing the book, I was trying to explain the logic of the design to my nontechie readers -- in places where there isn't much logic. I'm pretty sure I've done the best job anybody could do, but it wasn't easy!