OK, I downloaded Win 8 and installed it on the old Vista laptop (circa 2009) drive. First thing I learned is that when you download Win 8 it will go right into install mode. So, be ready to install immediately on download. You will have an opportunity to 1) save current windows settings and personal stuff, 2) save personal stuff only, or 3) do a clean install saving nothing. I chose #2.
The build took a while. Once I made the above decision there was little input from me for the rest of the install.
Once installed and running things do look different from previous Windows. Lots of boxes representing various apps. You can go through those and "unpin" the apps you don't need/want. Those that are left you can move around depending on frequency of use or whatever.
Downloaded Camera Control Pro 2 and VNX2. Installed both. They look to work fine. At least in the minimum testing I did the apps didn't break nor did they result in blue screens.
Also loaded Adobe Reader and Google Chrome. Unpinned the IE shortcut as it's job was done.
BTW, my laptop is not of the touch screen variety.
Win 8 takes a little time to get used to but, knowing it's a Windows OS under the hood, one gets the feel of it fairly soon.