My, how times have changed. Seems not that long ago when trying to bash MS was the name Gates that was cursed. Now, I see the accusatory finger is wielded towards the name Ballmer. Seems all the sh*t runs uphill, to whoever's @ the top.
There is a freedom for one to own an opinion. There is a freedom to present various opinions and differences in supporting one or another.
I suppose there is 1 person (somewhere) in the world who keeps their Harley dead stock, out of the box. As for Windows & computers, bloody rare that NO customizing or personalizing is done.
It is dreadfully unfortunate that the Win8 Start screen should be a brick wall or a moat. Especially, when, in point of fact, to treat it as such, is ungrounded.
To be considered:
1. There is no need for any tiles on Start.
2. There is no need to use or visit Start.
3. Start can be arranged w/ whatever tiles wanted (or not)
4. Tiles there can be Grouped & groups can be Named
5. Tiles can be large OR small
6. Tiles can be such that only real estate is used such that no scrolling is needed.
7. Refer back to #1
Since, one can be 100% @ Desktop, rhetoric bashing Start is a moot point.
And there are only 3 corners... top & bottom-right are identical.
Everything regarding the "How To" of Windows8 is in HELP.
There is a Start orb in Windows8, except it's a rectangle... guess, it can't be called an orb, anymore. NAME CHANGE Alert!! The Start orb in Windows going forward will be referred to as Start Rectangle. The start orb in Windows* has been replaced by a Start Rectangle. Ok, that done, moving on...
Back to being just serious & not tongue in cheek, as well...
(W/out looking @ HELP) Took me a day, maybe day 1/2 to learn/find my way around Win8
Have added NO 3rd party stuff or 'retro-fits'. Have created 1, not originally native (new) Shortcut... doing so is not "hacking" a system!
A few desktop shortcuts, normal in any OS. As stated just usual personalizing... can, only, be tagged, customizing as, no hacking of any sort is involved.... not, even, anything from outside the out-of-the-box OS.
1 Toolbar being used that is, already, available, by default; Simply needed to be enabled
Having long used pre-Win8 systems AND having a dual-boot scenario, A/B comparisons are easy for the undersigned. In that light...
Windows8 is faster, easier, more direct & convenient to navigate, do, find & access things than prior Windows OS
To ignore and be aloof the REST of an OS beyond and besides the silly Start screen is a travesty & makes one question where to short-sightedness lies... w/ Microsoft or elsewhere?
Any condemnation of Win8, Microsoft or Steve Ballmer based on the OS's Start screen can carry no weight as that is using a non-issue. In reality (and everyday usage) the Win8 Start screen is not a problem nor does it cause any.
It takes no time, arduous difficulty or hardship to operate Windows8. It might take an open ear, an open mind and some degree of willingness to discover and a positive attitude.
And we are not absolutely sure @ this date whether in the GA some initial, basic instructions may appear or something. We are, also, not dead sure the UI seen in the RP will not show any mods in the GA.
To write off Win8 based on a misperception or lack of awareness or a less than full understanding of Start is like saying an unread book is bad because of its front cover... there may be many fine pages of enjoyable reading to be found under that cover. And so much of Windows8's virtues are under-the-covers. IF, one takes the attitude to balk @ Windows8 based on the immediate, superficial sight of this OS, the short-sightedness may not lie w/ Microsoft or Steve Ballmer.
The above comment is not directed @ any specific individual but, put forth to & as applying to, the general populous.