I admit its absence, along with the lack of any immediately obvious Help resources, came as a massive disappointment. That has colored my overall impression perhaps more than warranted, perhaps even more than the Start Menu issue. This lack of access to a manual lead to many initial bad experiences. I expected certain behaviors based on previous Windows experience, and didn't understand many others that were not previously present. I smacked F1 as accustomed, it did nothing, and I felt I was left to wander through the new landscape with no onboard guidance. It's left a bad taste in my mouth since the Developer beta, a taste that's grown stronger as it remained missing in subsequent releases.
As Donovan has pointed out, my lack of use of mobile devices may resulted in my still expecting to see obvious 'Help' buttons and links. Even in W7 it is still foreign to me to type 'in space', outside of a box or field clearly intended for that purpose. Habit has me still clicking on the 'Run' link.
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