Is that necessarily a bad thing?
Those of you clinging to the hope that Microsoft will change their mind on the Start page should just look at Office. Since 2007, Microsoft has converted Office to use the Ribbon, and despite much pushback by a large percentage of their user base, they have steadfastly refused to go back to menus, or even allow the option of them.
Why? You might ask. Because Microsoft doesn't make these decisions lightly. They don't just say "Hey, let's mess with everyone". They have very specific reasons for the changes, and those reasons are strong enough that they decide to make major changes they know will be unpopular at first. Those reasons do not go away just because 25% of their user base whines a lot.
The reasons for the Ribbon were necessary for scalability, and it has been largely accepted after much initial rending of garments and wringing of hands. They're now on their third version.
The start page will similarly not go away, no matter how much you want to whine or complain. They won't be providing an option to go back to the old way. There are real, and very important reasons to Microsoft's very survival as to why they chose to move in this direction. Your unwillingness to go with progress (Note: I didn't say inability, I said unwillingness) won't matter. Seriously.
Keep on complaining... By all means... don't let me stop you. Just understand it won't make any difference.
The ribbon that replaced the older menu style is really a different kettle of fish, as much as it did confuse and can still be a pain to use; but it was a step in unifying the Office suite with a completely common set of menus. It made sense, considering the disparate history of Office programs.
The only thing in common with that is that Microsoft is trying to unify the start menu across all devices, but it will be completely overridden by third party software, unless Microsoft completely locks down the OS so no one can add or modify anything. I doubt very much that that will happen. One of Microsoft's long standing conventions has been to allow third party developers scope to enhance Microsoft products.
When it comes to apps, I can see the merit in having stricter controls like Apple has in place. But when it comes to the desktop, the ability for developers to work in that space, relatively unhindered, is a cornerstone of Microsoft's success. A mobile phone environment will not work on a desktop, unless you want to dumb down every program to suit the simplistic and cut down requirements for apps to function. That is not going to happen.
"I have yet to meet anyone in person who actually likes it'
You found him.
Ribbon and Metro are nothing more than change for change sake. After all these years I still have a hard time with Ribbon which is a nuisance and Metro is nothing more than a smartphone OS forced upon PCs. It is a waste of time complaining in forums as anyone who complains is either a brain dead Australopithecene or 0.00000001% of the total users.
Fanboys here totally refuse to accept that Win8 is nothing short of a PERFECT Godsent OS.
I use 3rd party applications that give me drop down menus and classic menus and to think that these are for my Win 7. Going to Win 8 is definitely a DOWNGRADE for me and all hell will freeze over before I even consider Win8. This post will probably get me branded as a troll or worse, but it is my honest opinion! If MS gives me the OPTIONS it removed then and only then I may consider Win 8.
It doesn't help when you put words in peoples mouths.
Nobody has said Windows 8 is a perfect OS. And yeah, it is a waste of time complaining about it, because it's not going to change anything. But don't let that stop you.
I wonder sometimes if people do any research before they undertake such an upgrade.
Before I did mine I read as many discussions on fora such as this, watched many of the numerous tutorials and demos on YouTube and got a good impression of what I would be letting myself in for.
If that research had shown that the system was unlikely to be satisfactory for me I wouldn't have bothered.
As it was, it looked good and I CERTAINLY haven't been disappointed.