The Debian Linux distribution isn't a ground-breaking Linux. If you want a cutting-edge distribution, Fedora Linux is the one for you. After all, Debian 7 uses the over-a-year-old Linux 3.2 kernel as its basis, while Linux 3.9 is the newest release. On the other hand, if what you want is a stable, well-tested distribution, then Debian will fit your needs.
That said, Debian 7.0 boasts many new features, while including many older ones. For example, besides having additional CPU support for the IBM System z mainframe and ARMv7, Debian still supports obsolete architectures as MIPS and PowerPC. If you want to keep an old system running Linux, you should still look at Debian first.
That's not to say that Debian doesn't come with up-to-date features. For instance, Debian is cloud friendly. It includes built-in support for OpenStack suite and the Xen Cloud Platform (XCP), allowing you to deploy your own private cloud infrastructure. Debian images are also provided on the major public cloud platforms such as Amazon EC2, Windows Azure, and Google Compute Engine.
That said, Debian does support the "newish" GNOME 3.4 instead of GNOME 2.x as its primary desktop. It also supports KDE 4.8.4, Xfce 4.8, and LXDE as optional interfaces. Well aware of how controversial the GNOME 3.x shell is, Debian also enables you to get a GNOME 2.30-style interface by selecting the "GNOME Classic" session at the login prompt. You can also then customize it to look and work more like GNOME 2.x by using the hidden alt + right-click combination.
In addition, while Debian now supports installation and booting on 64-bit PCs using Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), it does not support any installation workaround for Windows 8 PC's Secure Boot. Thus, to install Debian on a PC that came with Windows 8 pre-installed, you must disable Secure Boot before booting the system from your PC's UEFI settings menu.