BTW, in regard to the original theme of this thread...
I have been running Windows 8 for over a year. W/out getting 'techy' or wordy, I love it! It's brilliant. I was impressed with the technologies in it from the onset & this has not diminished one iota over time. It has, indeed, stayed fast, snappy, smooth and slick no matter how much has been loaded into it or how much has been asked of it. If fact, as expected, it really does get faster over time... as it learns things & trains itself. The plethora of Features & abilities is terrific... whether anyone uses any or all of that or not.
I continue to find to use of Windows 8 extremely easy and comfortable. I should mention I do not use Classic Shell, Start8 or any of that unnecessary stuff. I spend 99.9% or more of my time on Desktop... occasionally use the Start screen to Search... really like how one can type whatever anywhere on Start & the OS instantly runs of & searches... so convenient. I tried lots of things in my early months w/ Windows 8. I am an IT Consultant so, have to know what is available, what it does & what people are talking about or asking. I do use the Desktop Toolbar & Links on the Taskbar. And I do keep an (ALL) applications folder/window on the Taskbar. This allows me to access everything w/out leaving Desktop & w/out visiting Start or WinQ.
Recently I picked up a Windows Phone 8... a Nokia Lumia 920. WOW, what a nice phone! I'd wanted one for many, many months. It & my Windows 8 PC together are quite the friendship or team.
I mention this part because it supports one of the major design motivations to building Windows 8... the idea that there could be, would be consistency & compatibility across various computing devices... a common 'Look & Feel' using one OS but, multiple devices.
After a year living w/ Windows 8... it's fun, easy, quick, productive and has been problem free. We have turned a real corner in the computing world and, YES, it is paving the way to the future of computing. It may be somewhat different from past Operating Systems but, that's ok because it is high quality and a joy to use. Funniest thing about the past... that's exactly where it ends up being. We, eventually, must deal w/ the here & now and what is on the landscape ahead. Young & old can like Windows 8 IF they don't get swayed or put off by some of the myths and rumours being propagated.
Oh, and, I must tell you... my very positive feelings and impressions come from over a year of using windows 8 on a non-Touch PC. (Not a smart-phone or a tablet).
comfortable. I should mention I do not use Classic Shell, Start8 or any of that unnecessary stuff. I spend 99.9% or more of my time on Desktop... "
That is the unappreciated beauty of Windows 8. It is totally flexible. Touch screen if you have one - Desktop or laptop/tablet, with or without touchscreen.
I think those who are beginning to use, and like Windows 8, have all found their own ways to cope with the differences.
Bearing in mind that desktop icons are using resources - not a big problem these days, with the amount of ram that is loaded into computers, it is not a bad idea to get used to the modern screen, as a start menu. I recently went back to classic, to deal with a request for help, and, I must admit, fumbled a bit after using the modern screen for some months.
I have to admit, from my own point of view and usage, I still prefer this:
The classic is, of course, only temporary and I have not customised it.
Frankly, yes, one can 'get used to' the Win8 Start screen & Tile based start menu. But, speaking for myself (transpose to yourself, maybe), although I have a number of Tiles I have left on Start, I, really, don't use it or them. Nor do I have any need for 'forcing' an old style start menu onto Windows 8. Many of the things the old start menu accessed can be accessed (more) directly in Windows 8, even w/out such a start menu. Going through the Charms Bar or the 'Power Users' menu give a fine path to so much. Heck, a mere Rt Clk on the Taskbar gives Task Mgr. As I mentioned previously, employing the Desktop Toolbar & an (ALL) Applications folder/window on the Taskbar puts everything right, immediately @ one's fingertips & w/out any need to change screens AND all w/out adding anything like Classic Shell. When I say ALL applications that includes both Store APPs and traditional applications, ie programs, software & utilities.
Both the Win8 Start screen (& the WinQ screen) and an old style start menu become unneeded. And one can access & use APPS yet, w/out ever visiting Start (or WinQ).
The 'How Tos' for the above I put in the forum long ago but, if you can't find it or would like the methodology again, please do not hesitate to ask me.
I'm here to tell you, using these methods, I can navigate Win8 several times more rapidly than was possible w/ Win7 or earlier.