Tablet users probably love the new interface Microsoft created for Windows 8, but if you're using a laptop or desktop with mouse and keyboard, it could be quite frustrating to boot directly to the new Start screen. Some members of our forums probably felt the same way and began looking for a solution to their problem. In a recent forum post, Neowin member 'Fred 69' has found a way to boot directly to the desktop, without using any third party app. It's a built in Windows feature, although it's not an obvious one.
The feature is hidden somewhere between the folder options. All you have to do is to go to options in any Explorer window, choose the 'view' tab and click on 'Restore previous folder windows at log-on'.
The system will boot to the desktop at startup, but only if you leave an explorer window open at shutdown. It's still a good way if you don't want to use special software, such as Stardock's Start8.
In the same forum thread, user 'warwagon' shows that you can also copy the show desktop shortcut from a Windows XP installation and place it in the startup folder of the start menu. However it will boot to the new start screen first and after a few seconds the desktop will appear. You can also use his shell script, which he demonstrates in his post.
In case you missed it, there are other 'projects' Neowin members are engaged in to customize the Windows 8 experience to their (and our) needs. If you don't like the new ribbon explorer for example, you could use Immersive Explorer, created by 'link8506'. If you want Metro icons on the superbar, check out Metro2 by 'zainadeel'. Another project is a Windows 8 theme for Steam.