''Eli is a pretty savvy guy, so his ranting is articulate and relevant to IT pros.''
Mmm... yeaah... Well I agree with the ''savvy guy'', though.
Windows 8.1 is a plan, not a product per se. It's the same plan as putting everything in the cloud. The plan is called Big Data and its relevancy to human management. But that topic is beyond such forums.
So what I tell to people who don't like Windows 8(well they still use it, but still complain - very usual human act) - Don't use windows 8. Get linux. Any linux. I even can teach linux. But they still refuse, cause it's just so frightening - the learning curve that is. You know what you need to know to run linux? How to use a search engine(yeah, googling). Solutions around free operating system as linux are MUCH more frequent than windows or mac.
Oh yeah, and gaming is pretty much tied to windows, except that from last year steam is available for linux, so there are more games now. Of course, talking about linux in sins forum... suicide(only windows platform supported)
Of course, I still use windows 50% of the time, but once windows 7 support is gone, I will be 100% linux guy(and trying to run windows games in linux environment).