for a whole host of apps you don't really need the desktop anymore.
struggling with Win8 for a while it DOES have a logic to it and even with a whole host of apps I never in a million years thought I'd be writing this.
1) Get rid of all the useless metro stuff you don't want.
2) Be TOTALLY ruthless with what you pin to the start menu -- and organise by WHAT YOU USE - rather than application --for example I have EXCEL in the same group as Notepad and Cmd prompt -- if I use these apps like this there's no reason to leave say EXCEL in the MS office group - especially if I don't use very often other programs in that group.
3) Replace IE invasive version (metro) with the Normal IE on the start screen.
Now good to go. At boot you get your customized start screen -- now say I want EXCEL I just click on it.
IF I did it the "Classical Way" I'd have to click on Start, then Ms office apps -- then Ms EXCEL (3 actions from boot rather than 1 !!.
The trick is to arrange the start screen properly for HOW YOU WORK.
This is NOT an OOBE experience so setting it up will take time and effort and we do need more customisation properties for the start screen -- but all those Start button lovers -- try thinking in the new way and you will be surprised.
Enc screen shot of my start screen.