OK. Fair comment. But my question was "Which settings and defaults do you find that only run in Metro now" The PDF opener was a comparatively new. Those with MS Office can still apply it as normal item. Previous to that, almost since PDFs were invented, most users have installed programs such as Adobe (free) as a standard default. Mail, calendar, Skype, picture viewer. I am still using these in Desktop mode, with already purchased, or free) third party software, so cannot comment. Truth is, I have always, even through Windows XP, preferred several third party alternatives to those built in by MS, so the fact that, as you say, they are Metro orientated, doesn't bother me a great deal.
But, keep in view the context of this thread is the start menu, not what is now only a Metro App. Unless MS, assuming this roumur to be true (??), return those earlier programs, together with the menu, nothing will be different.
There may be some things lurking there, but I have not encountered any non Metro items in settings, which are not available through the desktop and/or the Control panel.
Also an article about what might be the reason, as he looks at the shake up at Microsoft.
Microsoft Windows Changes | Windows 8.1 content from Windows IT Pro
You call the start menu cluttered, but to me the start screen is an abysmal mess. Crap all over, tons of colors, different sized tiles, having to scroll a mile to the right, etc. I use the start screen for one thing, typing name of something and launching it. I'd I use it regularly, I pin to taskbar, and call it a day.
To get into control panel, printers, shutdown, run box, etc....I use the start menu. And I do that kind of stuff all day. I just installed start 8 and gave not looked back since. Best of both worlds. Remember, this is Windows where you get choice, not Apple where there is just their way and you have to accept it.
Another article from Mary Jo today on the "Mini Start Menu"
What might a new Windows Start Menu look like? | ZDNetSince Thurrott's initial December 10 report on the return of the Start Menu, I've heard from my own contacts that this is highly likely to happen. Microsoft is, indeed, highly likely to bring back Start Menu. Supposedly it's being called internally "mini-Start," (as it won't be a full-screen Start Menu like in Windows 8), one of my contacts said.
I STILL can't see what's wrong with people creating a custom toolbar and adding their OWN programs to it -- you can cascade as many times / levels as you want -- the old W7 menu occupied too much screen real estate and wasn't very flexible.
Very simple to do - I described process in another post -- absolutely No registry edits or 3rd party apps required.
Here's the link.
Creating Usable Pgm toolbar WITH sub menus
Yes, I saw your thread -- I posted something there too. Of course, the "create your own programs toolbar" idea wasn't mine. But what I posted in my thread was a BATCH FILE that will copy everything into your toolbar -- everything from BOTH your user start menu (in your user folder) AND the All-Users start menu (in C:\ProgramData) -- automatically including the same hierarchy of subfolders that they're organized into. If you were going to make your own folder with all THAT in it (about 150 programs in 20 subfolders) by creating and populating each folder yourself, it would be a lot of work. I'd be quite willing to do it, if there were no other way. But all it takes is two "XCOPY" instructions to the Command Prompt and it's all there.
If you're happy with the toolbar you have now, then of course you don't need mine. But for those who never know when they might need ANY program in their system, and would like them ALL in one place like the screenshot in my post, download my batch file and follow the instructions I gave. Then your whole system will be in one set of cascading menus -- like the good old Start Menu that they took away.
I am on 8.1 and do not want the 'olde' system back. I have the option already with Advanced system Care which has a retro switch to revert win 8 and 8.1 to the old style. I am now used to the new format, made for touch screens, and see no need to revert.
Apart from the startmenu I would also like to see gadgets come back. In windows 8 I miss my currency gadget and my weatherforecast gadget om the desktop.
Call me oldish all you want, but that is what I prefer.