Nope, this is the correct way, beacuse you have all the programs right there instantly! That is the most moronic thing i have ever heard, having to search for a progam to launch it, omg. I use alot of these programs almost everyday. Why would you have to type in a program every time you want to launch it, when you can have all the programs pinned right in front of you. Typing in a program equals a loss in productivity and takes more time. I assume you never used windows ever!
Wrong. It's the slowest way by far. Quicker to simply press WIN and type first few letters of your document or application, same as in Vista and 7.
If you need icons for apps, simply pin them to taskbar or add them to the desktop.