The alacrity with which Win8 was given a retro "classic" UI by small subsets of 3rd party coders establishes one important idea. The UI is superficial imposition and easily modified or dispensed with. It tells us what MS could have offered its customer base choices, just as most other product vendors tend to do. A choice of UI models based on the same underlying file logic. Sports car, SUV or a kiddie swing shaped like a space shuttle (the hilarious fingerfone).
The Apple limited choice, proprietary-lock-down, Bauhaus / Braun desk kitsch forced conformity forced obsolescence model is actually the exceptional opposite to the Americanized mkt place. A Eurasian rigid social conformity concept much closer to Orwell's 1984 Winston World than Microsoft's almost limitless customization potential, prior to the Win8 fingerfone stupefaction. As with all fanaticisms big and small, the accusers tend to practice the transgressions they pretend to attribute to others.
The success of early DT clones and the once available variety of user interfaces is what would be normal marketing in USA. Starting in the mid 80s we had a half dozen UI front ends (example - DRDOS & GEM, DesqView, plain MSDOS, DOS+Norton Commander, etc. as well as additional variations in file managers, all of them representing a traditional "reality based" hierarchical file system refined over 5000 years of commerce clerking, archiving and literature. Then came a more-or-less standardized PARC/Apple skeuomorphic OS2, Win3- Win95 thru Vista to the present ending with Win7. Win7 shocks me because the skeuomorphic UI remains traditional, but the background structure is anti-educational and anti-rational and unteaches standard practice. You're absolved from maintenance of your workplace, and logical alpha-numeric filing rules are now passe. Just another stone removed from civilizations foundation.
The skeuomorphic model of icons representing tools, storage cabinets and work spaces, the universal language of organization and productivity, is subsequently removed in Win8. Its the "progressive" graphical march toward non-representational ephemera. Progress at full speed into a vacuum, leaving behind rational symbolism for...what? What do we call fingerfone tiles - fill in the conceptual blank? How is life and work made better? I resent being manipulated and forced into an alien mileu which may or may not have any decipherable rationale, outside of a systematic intention to revel in chaotic obstinacy or trite faddish adolescence. So I want to understand the underlying philosophy.