I recently upgraded my personal Windows 7 laptop to Windows 8. At this point, I have to say that Windows 8 is as step backward for the IT professional.
As an IT professional, I use a large number of applications, none of which are usable on touch screen, such as MS Word, Putty, Winscp, Oracle SQLPlus, etc. I expect to access all of these through a start menu, since the large number of applications that I use makes putting icons on the desktop too cumbersome. However, Windows 8 does not offer a start menu, only a scrollable touchscreen. This is extremely cumbersome. I was able to find and install a free application which set up a start menu very similar to the Windows 7 start menu which I could access from my desktop. However, to access the desktop I have to go through the Metro screen and click on desktop. This is an extra step that is very annoying, and according to all I have read, Microsoft has the ability to make this step unnecessary, but has disabled the ability to the general public.
All in all, I find Windows 8 to be not nearly as usable as Windows 7 for the IT professional.