I am sorry I didn't see this sooner, I hope you are still around.
1. On my Win 7, to shutdown, you must click on start, turn off and then you get a window that asks you to choose between Restart and Turn off. That is 3 steps. on Window 8 you mouse over to the right corner and choose power and turn off, which is two steps and it doesn't grind forever to actually turn off.
2. With my antivirus programs and I have tried several. You click on one icon and then get a window that tells you your choices. Just one click.
3. Individual programs may require some adjustment, but the only advantage to the Start is that fact that you can pin programs there also or have it display recently used programs. So if you need that, then you can use an add on program to get that back.
Overall for me, it looks very similar to the way I have my XP and Win 7 set up, but much faster, so I don't see the big deal.
P.S. I just read that if you mouse over to the left side, you get your Start back, but I have not tried it yet.
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