So I was messing around with Win 8.1 today, just further realizing how awful the start screen and new explorer are. I wanted to do something that's very simple in Windows XP or 7 - add a program to start at Windows boot by putting a shortcut into the Startup folder.
If the shortcut already exists on the start menu:
1. Right click the shortcut
2. Click 'create shortcut', this duplicates the shortcut
3. Drag the shortcut into the Startup folder via the Start Menu
If the shortcut doesn't exist on the start menu:
1. Locate the program in explorer
2. Drag the program into the Startup folder via the Start Menu (a shortcut will be created automatically). Alternately, right click the program and select pin to start menu, then drag it from the pinned list to the Startup folder.
So how does this work in Windows 8?
1. Open start screen, right click shortcut if it's pinned, if not start digging through the disastrous All Apps list, full of un-nested folders sorted in uneven columns.
2. Click "open file location".
3. You're now in explorer with the shortcut displayed in the Start Menu folder.
4. Copy the shortcut.
5. Manually navigate to the Startup folder and paste the shortcut. You don't get to see the tree view in explorer for some reason, even if you uncheck Hidden on the AppData folder properties and apply all.
Without true context menu functionality, there's no way to directly find the shortcut target. "Open file location" in the start screen only brings you to the shortcut location. And of course, the lack of rename, delete, properties, and any custom context menu entries you'd like to add and have easy access to.
You can't copy a shortcut pinned to the start screen into the All Apps list unless you manually copy that shortcut into the Start Menu folder using Explorer. No way to just transfer or duplicate it like you can with the Start Menu. Managing shortcuts is a nightmare with the start screen, and there's a big integration gap between the pinned list and All Apps list that didn't exist before.
Also, why is it such a pain to get an elevated Explorer process so I can get around UAC not letting me do almost anything to files in the Program Files (and other) folder(s)? You can't even create a shortcut or modify a file inside Program Files without an elevated explorer process, let alone important files like Hosts in the Windows folder. Of course, if I suggested turning UAC off I'd get the UAC nanny state police fanatics bearing down on me cursing blood and thunder that I dare value control and convienence over "security" and annoying pop-ups.
When installing Windows 8 you have to go through 10+ extraneous clicks to opt-out of all the new metrics MS wants your computer sending to its servers. Then there's turning off or uninstalling all of the live tiles that are auto-installed. There are also annoying apps notifications to turn off. And how about the post-crash "Send report to MS?" dialogue you can't disable or ignore unless you turn off the Windows Error Reporting service? Constant Smart Screen nagging?
On default settings your computer will be sending a constant stream of metrics, reports, and data to MS, and it takes a significant effort to disable it all. That's assuming any of it is actually disabled, or wouldn't be re-enabled at any time without permission. Now Windows 7 is far from innocent in this regard, but Win 8 cranks it up to 11 - even more of a hassle to regain control of the OS and elevate your own permissions.
That just makes me think of the posters who claim that Win 8 is the same or better than Win 7, and start insulting and belittling others for rejecting it. I was right - they are truly the ignorant ones who don't understand, not us who need to use our computers as more than toys to check Facebook and E-Mail once a day, and perhaps might value control and privacy over locked down walled garden OSes.