Windows 8 has plenty of worthwhile features on the desktop:
Storage Spaces Improved graphics kernel New Task Manager (includes ability to disable startup programs) Ribbon on Explorer (yes, it is actually helpful) Multi-monitor improvements Cloud-settings (wallpaper, lockscreen, settings move with you) Improved security (built-in anti-virus, secure boot) Start Screen (far from perfect but better than the Start Menu) PC refresh / reset (no more need to reinstall Windows) Win + X menu (great for quickly accessing system tools)
There's more included than the Vista -> 7 jump. Yeah, there's plenty of usability issues and Metro apps are pretty shit with mouse and keyboard but the desktop is still where you spend most of your time. If Microsoft were to allow Metro apps to run in a window, make the taskbar always visible (even in the Start Screen), remove the hot-corners nonsense and give users more flexibility with the Start Screen then there's no reason Windows 9 couldn't be a success.