I was going to post something similar to Drew, with a reference to my earlier two posts. But, the thread title says it all. Several posts here have drifted from that title. However, a reminder, once again, that it is not necessary to use the new Metro screen. It can be avoided 100% and the user can work as always, with an improved performance, on the alternative desktop which Microsoft have left in. The objection that, for example "it should not be required to install a third party menu, to use the OS" is, imho, superfluous. We all install third party programs which we regard as superior to those built in, and always have done.
I will have to mention that, although, I have left a few Tiles on Start, I really never visit it or the ALL Apps screens; occasionally I'll search from the Start screen. I work 100% on Desktop & I do this & access everything & anything from there without any 3rd party additions, what so ever; just found them not necessary. I do it with nothing more than a (conventional/traditional) window sitting on the Taskbar with an alphabetical list that is the equivalent of the ALL Applications screen (WinQ) which, includes anything that might be on Start plus, everything else.
I tried the 3rd party stuff way back in the Win8 beta days. But, I have worked happily, efficiently & conveniently without any of it for about 18 months. I have, also, passed on the same info, approach & method to my clients & people in Forums & they all really like & enjoy using Windows 8 in such an easy, simplistic way.
Maybe a slight misunderstanding. I did not intend it to mean only the addition of a third party start menu. Surely you use a few third party programs, even if it may be Office? I would assume that, in Mike's case, as a user deeply into graphics, he must have several(?)
With me it's dozens of third party apps, and that goes back to my point about what differentiates a tablet and a desktop.
If I only used my computer to word process, email, (except W8's mail app can't open my Comcast POP3 email account) browse, and show my photos and videos to people then I could use the start screen and be happy with it.
That is, what I do with my iPad.
But you can't run Adobe Indesign, Photoshop or Illustrator on a tablet.
And that's what it really all comes down too, using a PC isn't about Apps.
It's about running software, from companies that aren't always Microsoft.
You run Apps on a tablet, you run software on a PC.
Mike, are you suggesting a Windows 8 PC is not designed to do that or not capable of doing that? Or are you just saying tablets don't cut it as work-horses?
I could understand the notion that tablets are somewhat limited. I have never agreed w/ the idea that PCs will go the way of the dodo bird. Netbooks, phones, tablets, et al are ok, up to a point but, there will always be a place a role for PCs, when people are doing certain things & activities.
I'm just making sure I'm understanding correctly that you are simply comparing different types of devices, ie PCs to less capable hardware.
That's not entirely true for as long as you buy a tablet that is powered by an x86 architecture rather than ARM, you can run any such program. On the Microsoft Surface Pro for example, you can use Photoshop to the same degree as on a PC using a type of touch cover, along with the touchscreen for other things. The only difference is most x86 tablets run on ULV processors so you don't get the same level of performance.
You would go buggy trying to run Indesign, Photoshop or Illustrator on a touchpad, and I have 3D software that is even more complex than those.
You have to have a screen big enough to see how type really fits together, how photos overlap or crop, how serifs touch.
What the color will really look like when printed using a specific ink.
They don't have pads that do that yet.
You can't run real games, like Skyrim, or Tombraider, most of them are too big to even fit in the limited space that most pads have and still have room for anything else. That's aside from the fact that they don't have the horsepower to run anything like that.
What Windows 8.1 needs to have is a new Metro Screen named "My Software".
It would allow me to place the Icons for the software I use all the time, in one location, in the order I want all on one screen with nothing else. I would be able to get to it from the start button, and in two click I would have my software running.
That's still twice as many clicks as it takes now.
I know I could do that with the Start Screen, but then I'd have to go to the All Apps screen for everything else.
There are over 420 icons on my all apps screen.
That's just too much.
I'm just saying that there still needs to be an interface that works on real computers built to really do things besides chat and email.
I don't see how pad computers are going to take over the movie, graphic arts, or gaming industry, where people just go on trying to get bigger screens, more power, more storage and higher frame rates.
I remember when the idea of 2 million megabytes of disk space seemed like a dream.
But now that I sometimes have files that are 15 or 20 thousand megabytes. I don't think I have enough. LOL
Maybe the time will come when we will have 40" 3D displays suspended in the air above our Microsoft Quasar Ultra 9,000,000 Minipad.
But for now we still need a OS for desktop computer with big screens.
Maybe Windows 8.1 will make people happier. I am running it now on VM. There is a Start button affixed to the Taskbar... this can be told to give the ALL Applications which, can be told to display by Name. ALL Applications is the same as the old (Win7) ALL Programs of its old start menu.
I now have 8.1 on two desktops and the start screen has a little down arrow at the bottom left and when you click that ....ALL your apps come up. One thing that continues to bug me is that Microsoft continues to rename things for instance I have always checked on my various drives at "Computer" which was changed to "My Computer", then "Computer" and now it's "This PC". absolutely no reason to change the names except to make you search and fumble for their apparent pleasure. It does not help you in any way yet you are required to learn something new. They just wanted to "Make their mark" on the program it seems similar to a dog coming into your house and lifting his leg to mark your sofa, I don't know about other people, but I don't care for that so don't bring your dog to my house.
I was an early adopter of 8 and now 8.1 I waited a couple of days as I only had one running desktop, but now I have my main machine back up I just went with both to 8.1. In retrospect I should have left one as is to better judge differences. My laptop just has 8.0 Pro, but I don't really use it the same. You know there are many Apps in prime locations that I do not use, but if I select "This PC" from the expanded list I noticed it will go from the start page and open the drive index in a new window on the desktop, which I do like. Give me a day and I'll try to test your question a little better.
"This PC", (As Panda says - previously "My Computer " and later "Computer") has, I believe, always opened in desktop mode, as do many built in functions - one of the oddities of the modern screen. However, it does give, now, a broader view of the contents of you computer. I personally think the name change was something which should have been done way back. "This PC" is more to the point than a mere title "Computer".
It is inevitable that changes, even in names if they are more "trendy" or significant, will come. The move from DOS to windows meant a whole new learning experience - and so it will continue.
But, in a partial answer to your query, Mike, you might want to have a look at this thread for an interesting function in the so called "Start Orb" , for seeing "All Apps"
In Windows 8.1 a Navigation tab has been added which, offers some choices people may like & responds to things people have been wanting.
Since the introduction of Windows 8 I have been telling people about a windows I have on the Taskbar. I can open it w/out leaving Desktop & have an alphabetical list of all applications. Now, you can tell the Applications screen to sort by Name. This is what one needs not, the Start screen. This screen has everything.
Now, in 8.1 one can hit the (permanent) Start button on the Taskbar and have it go to the ALL Applications screen... in effect, "All Programs"... grab what you want & return to Desktop.
This is just one of a few likable selections one can find by Rt Clk on Taskbar > Properties...
Glad to be helpful & that the info was liked. BUT...
Yes, the Windows button, now living on the Taskbar can go to the ALL Applications screen instead, of Start. But, personally, I, still, prefer having a traditional Applications window* on the Taskbar (as I have in Windows 8) with no need to leave Desktop (screen) and, still, using Desktop Toolbar.
* Gives ALL Applications or ALL Programs in an alphabetical list