Given what I have seen of the interface windows 8 is a major downgrade because it looks the same of desktops as phones and tablets. I might actually want everything all or most of my screen on a small device, I definitely do *not* want the new interface hat on my 1920x1200 desktop.
I thought windows, which implements all my pet hates, was as bad as it would get. I now know the developers were cooking up something even worse. Fortunately spending $$$$$$ is insufficient: active X controls bombed because their were not legitimate uses for them.
As far phoning home goes any windows 8 device I buy is likely to discover my firewall has decided it can't.