Should you not be able to downgrade, don't be intimidated by Windows 8. Yes, it's different, but it's really not that bad.
People are having quite different experiences and impressions - just ask me and Inland! - but, once you figure out a few tricks, it's OK. If this helps, I have a very close internet friend in California who put Windows 8 on her computer and she just absolutely loves it. The kicker is that she is 88 years old!
Heading out to the gardens!