The problem is still, that it's all about pushing apps, not using regular software.
I just don't have any use for the apps, none of them do anything I need and I have over 100 pieces of software installed.
I do see what maybe some improvement for the PC experience, but this really is a Touch Screen operating system.
This time I will create a start screen that only has the software that I use all the time, the ones that are on my Rocket Dock bar and try and use it.
Everything else will have to be accessed from the all apps screen, but I still wish they had an additional window called My Apps or something like that, that I could use like Rocket Dock and not have the option of either a Windows with 25 icons or one with all 350 icons on one screen.
In fact I'd like to have a bar down one side or across the top of the desktop that I could place my favorite software on, without having to switch back and forth from one screen to another.
I know I have the task bar but that gets filled with thing I want to access when I'm in other applications. My Browser, Skype, Widows Explorer etc.
I want a bar for my Adobe applications Google Earth, my games and things like that.
I'm pretty sure that I'll still find myself using Classic Shell and Rocket Dock and using my computer just like I did in Windows 7.
I am not about to make excuses for MS policies. They don't do too badly in that field, themselves.
But, and this is only my opinion and view!, Windows 8 was pushed out with portable devices in mind. For this reason, Microsoft's comments are directed towards that. They could have, but didn't made the OS more acceptable, by promoting, and programming, the Metro and its associated parts, as an added on section. However, they chose to go the other way. The legacy desktop is the add on. Possibly, as in so much business these days, the controlling force was the accounts department. They could see the benefits of giving priority to the up and coming, and majority usage, of computers.
But, The desktop is there, (PLEASE, no comments on the absence of the old start menu!). It is identical, in every respect, to the Vista/Windows 7 desktop. In what possible way could Microsoft extoll its advantages over previous OSs - It has none.
My only complaint, of any real meaning, was the lack of multi tasking opportunity. This has been partially solved in Windoows 8.1. But Modernmix brought this back to my desktop and I have few complaints now, of any meaningful significance.
Like yourself, Mike, " This time I will create a start screen that only has the software that I use all the time", this I have also done. In fact, once you get used to it, it is considerably quicker than accessing the old start menu, even if you are diving into the "All Apps" window.
I remain astonished, when I see posted examples, by quite experienced users, of a modern, or legacy desktop, cluttered with 30 or 40 icons. Surely they cannot use all of those on a daily basis. Or?
I must admit being a desktop user that the Store and many of it's apps do not hold much interest for me. There are some useful ones but for the main I stick with tried and trusted third party software. Having the choice however of being able to pop into the 'Store' and finding something which can either entertain or be useful is in my opinion pretty cool.
The changes that the 8.1 update brings makes the transition from Metro/Start screen to desktop much more natural. You can even configure, as Mike has done, to have all your links on the desktop and not even bother with the start screen especially as you can now boot straight to the desktop environment.
On a more personal note, I hate icons on the desktop and configure my Start screen like I would a win 7 Start menu.
So far I'm liking what I see with the 8.1 preview (which primarily is what this thread is about). So we didn't actually get a win 7 type start menu... I think it would be a backward step if we did. As Davehc remarks above, it's just as quick to use a well thought out Start screen as it is to use a menu.
Besides there's more than enough third party apps around which will stick the training wheels back on...