I'll leave the answering of your tech questions to the members who know what they're talking about (unlike me).
I'll only answer your question about whether we like Windows 8.
Since I'm trying to give up using the word "hate", and since I'm also trying to give up using extreme or overstated language, I will say that I *very strongly dislike* Windows 8. This for more reasons than I can enumerate in a short(ish) answer.
I keep wondering if it's just because I'm resisting a dramatic user interface type of change, or because Windows 8 is actually as badly designed as it appears to be.
It thwarts me at every turn. It makes formerly simple tasks and functions awkward, difficult, or virtually impossible. It has redundancies that I don't need, want or use, yet it doesn't seem to do simple things like closing a window easily. Yeah--I'll just use two hands to left click and hold the top border of a window, while simultaneously dragging it to the bottom of the screen, needing to lift my dragging finger to start scrolling again from the top of the touch pad because one swipe didn't get the damn screen anywhere near the bottom...oh man, did a stoner design this?? How can a software designer who is sooo much smarter than I am think that nobody will ever use anything but a tablet again.....in the whole wide world...and even on a tablet it would be sooo much easier to just tap an 'X' in the upper right corner to close it like in every other Windows version.....oh my word I hate this Windows 8...(fade to black....)