You can invoke Start the exact same way you did in Windows 7. Just throw your mouse into the lower-left corner and click. There are actually *more* ways to get to Start with mouse than Windows 7, since you can also get to it from the charms bar on the right hand side of the screen.
Except the lack of a visual cue makes this harder to discover. Plus since you keep putting your fingers in your ears on this one, hot corners are terrible in a windowed remote session. Additionally, we are now forced to have it in the lower left (no longer tied to Taskbar position). No one cares that there are 'more' ways when the primary one was fine.
This is untrue. Almost zero options take you to the desktop. The very few that do are super rarely used and mostly one-time use things (i.e. setting up multiple input languages).
'Almost zero', really? Its disingenuous bull**** like this that creates such bitterness. Metro is a minefield that is completely reliant on the desktop to function (because its alpha) while the desktop is now artificially reliant on Metro. You never know when you will flip over to the other side
. Its very incomplete. You didn't address the lack of a file explorer and glossed over every other setting as rarely used. The reason Metro wasn't released on its own is because it has no legs to stand on currently without the desktop. The desktop isn't just there for legacy purposes. So far, Metro is a mini-OS bolted onto a far superior one.
And how was the Win7 start menu any different? You had to "switch over to a different screen" there too. You had to switch to a screen that was ~1/10th start menu and ~9/10ths stuff you aren't looking at that isn't useful to what you're trying to do.
You switched over to a different window, not screen. Fundamental difference. I think that's really the line in the sand still. Those of us that were content with Start and people like you who found it nightmarish. Of course the new menu really doesn't address any of that no matter how much you like to pretend it does. Users will be no more likely to pin applications or launch from All Programs now than they did with Win7. Users still don't understand right-click for the most part, shall we get one button mice too?
The only change is semantic zoom and it currently has all of the problems
with the classic menu. The very idea of 'groups' on StartScreen and auto-sort behavior screams how disjointed the approach is. Go to All Programs and it gets worse. Visually scanning rows and rows and rows of icons on a larger, grid is not more efficient if you know where you are going