You do have some strange conditions. But let me say first that I too am always running into those mysterious little gremlins. Most are easily remedied by "settings" of which there is a whole plethora. But some are still not remedied and have stumped the experts so far.
Now to address your question:
People are specifically the names and E-mail addresses that you insert in your E-mail "contacts" list.
When I click on my "people" app on my start screen I opens the list of "people" in my E-mail listing.
I experimented and typed "contacts" on my start screen and it surely did not open any "people" it opened a pane titled "contacts" which looks like the pane that opens from down on my task bar - file explorer.
Instead of typing "contacts" on the start screen type "people".
As is typical of Win 8, you can open your charms and use the change PC settings then search people and your list of names should open there too. People and contacts are not synonymous.
Of course I respect everyone's opinions and input but for my own Personal preference I surely will not alter or modify Windows 8 with extraneous 3rd party modifications. I'm quite a traditionalist and I go to some serious measures to ensue that my OS is carefully the original.