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Switching is one keystroke
Set up the start screen in groups that are useful to you with the desktop icon in the top left, then the return key always takes you to the desktop. Put some useful shortcuts like "Shutdown" and "Restart" in the same group. Use Alt-F4 to close Apps instead of swanning around with the mouse and use the "Windows" key to switch to and from the desktop to the Start Screen. It is now quicker and possibly better organised than with Windows 7 Start Menu. I have no icons on my desktop and just a few on the Task bar. My Start menu has four groups, "Utils" including Desktop, Shutdown, Restart, Store and search, "Apps", "Productivity" including some MS Office icons and GIMP, "Tools" including Control Panel, Command, Secunia PSI and notepad. It works for me and when I start using a Windows tablet, which I'm sure will come, I can have the same setup.