Adding "boot to desktop" and "no edge shortcuts" options in Windows 8.1 was a first step, but they need to do more for desktop users. Here are 10 things MS should change or add to make it more functionally equivalent to previous versions of Windows:
Remember, the key word here is functionality, not new or old. Newer does not always mean better, and new and old can often co-exist, or old functionality can be reintegrated in a non-destructive manner.
1. Ability to resize the start screen so it only takes up a fraction of its current space and doesn't obscure the desktop. We should be able to make it more like a sidebar.
2. All Apps sorting is still a mess. Folders and shortcuts are stacked on top of eachother in uneven columns instead of nested, making a giant mess of shortcuts. This is far worse than the start menu for quickly eyeing and spotting a needed folder/shortcut that you don't remember the name to.
3. True context menu functionality. If I right click a shortcut I want the real deal, renaming, deleting, copying, command line properties, etc. from inside the start screen itself, not having to open a separate window in explorer.
4. Nested folders, including the nested control panel, network, favorites, recent documents/programs, etc.
5. If Metro apps are to be of any use to multitasking desktop users, they have to be able to be run in a desktop window. Aka ModernMix from Stardock. Docking is not a windows replacement and is antithetical to the idea of windows.
6. Bring back desktop search and restore its former functionality, we don't want to use a crippled fullscreen app for searching. Win 8 search was crippled, 8.1 search slightly less so. Adding direct internet search functionality is not necessarily a bad idea, but does not make up for other issues that need to be addressed.
7. The new explorer ribbon, networks sidebar, and task manager are all functionality disasters.
8. Bringing back Aero and other desktop/dialogue box functionality that was removed would be nice. Yes Aero is superficial but I liked it.
9. Let us make the start screen background transparent, not just show a mockup of the desktop wallpaper. Give us more options for adjusting the color scheme of start screen shortcuts. Not all of us like the ugly neon red/green/purple/orange palette.
10. Let us access Metro settings from the desktop. Do I really need to dig through a fullscreen purple colored Settings app to find an option that MS failed to add a desktop/control panel equivalent to?