I hate to say this, it's like I'm stabbing my eyes out when I say this, but Windows 8 and the Do Not Track options in IE10 is having me switch slowly over to IE for browsing. I open the new Chrome and I open the IE10 in Win8 (not in Metro mode) and it's just so much faster. The optimizations with IE10 and Win 8 are really apparent.
I like Windows 8, and tbh if you don't want to use the tiles on the start, don't. For me, it comes up in the beginning, I hit the tile for the desktop and I rarely see it. You shouldn't really have any compatibility problems aside from some very old legacy devices.
How well does Firefox or Palemoon work in Win 8? I never was that fond of Chrome and I despise IE.
Just fine? Altho i'd recommend using waterfox instead, you can clearly see the smoothness improvement of browsing from FF to WF being 64bit, and there's only a few things that don't support 64bit browsers nowadays. (BF3's battlelog serverlauncher being the thing that comes to mind right away)
He just sucks at using it. How about pressing the windows key and use it like 7? Some of the arguments don't even make any sense. I've never got random stuff pop up on my screen when I'm using the normal desktop.
Also, windows key + x. Gah, so many problems solved there.
If you don't understand where he's coming from, I honestly have no idea what to do about you. He's perfectly correct.