A fresh install of Windows 8 is probably the safest environment for casual/non-techie PC users to have, if they choose the Windows route over Mac. Even more so than Windows 7, the last "Power User" version of Windows.
Windows 8 hides the majority of system-altering settings into the legacy Control Panel, the PowerShell, the Power Users menu (Win+X), etc. You'll notice the "PC Settings" app has some but not all of the settings from the old Control Panel but nothing that can really change your system.
The sad truth is that this simple act prevents a majority of Windows users from screwing up their PC, by having only a Mac or tablet-like access to settings. Power Users, however, all know how to get to the system-altering settings and they're the users who won't mess up their systems by changing them, as they know what they're doing. "Disk Management" for example is no longer easily accessible to the casual PC user, but Power Users know how to get to it just fine.
Also, while I personally hate the browser, Internet Explore 10 (now 11) is much safer from being a malware magnet. Another sad truth is many people just use IE because it's the default, not even knowing alternative web browsers even exist. They're safer using Windows 8's default browser than Windows 7"s (IE7) or worse, XP's (IE6).
Windows 8.1 (a free upgrade for anyone who owns Windows 8 in some capacity) corrects many UI mistakes of Windows 8, including adding back the Start Button, and being able to boot directly to the desktop rather than the Start Screen.
Long story short, the changes in Windows 8... they're for your own good, really.
(I used to really HATE the OS, but like Vista-to-7, the upgrade to 8.1 corrects all the mistakes of original Windows 8.)
It's not like you're required to upgrade, so why all the hate?
I got a free upgrade for my phone and I was all set to this one that look really neat and than I realized it had Windows 8. Needless to say I got a droid instead.
Enjoy your bloatware-filled malware magnet. There's a reason Android phones need those quad-core Snapdragon CPUs. The only plus I see with Android is the ability to fiddle with it however you like to get the best out of your device. However, that can also be a downside if you don't want to have to customize your smartphone.
Windows Phone 8 makes great use of the Metro UI and runs very fluidly even on a dual-core Snapdragon clocked only at 1.0 GHz. There's a lack of large games (like desktop-style smartphone games are ever any good, let alone ones with non-permanent in-app purchases), but I can't find a popular service that is missing an app for WP8.
Windows 8 is great for tablets and kiosks. Obviously Windows 7 is better on everything else though. It's arguably the best Windows in history. Look at it this way though... at least it's not Window Millennium. --- PSN: JoshD8705 - One of my covers: Hawthorne Heights - Ohio Is For Lovers http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/bd6a4e144