This bar at the bottom of the screen is very powerful. It will be seen whenever you are on the Desktop UI.
You can pin items (almost any item) to this Taskbar. Commonly pinned items are shortcuts to browsers, email clients, folder, apps, etc.
To pin something to the Taskbar, Right Click on an item anywhere and select Pin To Taskbar. This will pin a shortcut to this item directly on the taskbar
Some specialized items can be pinned here. Let’s say you want to access all your apps without going to the Metro Start Menu. Easy as pie.
Right Click on an empty space on the Taskbar and select Toolbars, New Toolbar
This will open File Explorer (Renamed from Windows Explorer in all other versions of Windows)
Drill down to (C: ), Users, “User Name”, AppData, Roaming, Microsoft, Windows, Start Menu, Programs
Click on Programs and choose Select Folder. You will see a new Toolbar on the Taskbar called Programs. You can click on the >> to open the entire Programs Tree to go to any app you have installed.
I like to set up a specialized Shortcuts folder in My Documents that I place shortcuts to my most commonly used apps. I then use the above procedure to create a Toolbar of this Shortcuts folder. Easy!
You will also see a Links Toolbar. This is actually the Favorites Bar in IE 10, but also will work if you use a different browser as your default browser.
Start Orb alternative
OMG, when you go to the Desktop, the Start Orb you are accustomed to is missing, OMG! Never fear, using the above procedure, you can create toolbars to any folder you wish, Favorites, Links, etc.
There are several alternatives to the Start Orb you have grown accustomed to. The one I use is Classic Shell V 3.5.1. (You will see the Classic Shell Orb in the Taskbar Screenshot above.) Once you install this app, it will give you a Win XP, Vista or 7 Start Orb with all the same functions except it is more customizable. Right Click the Classic Shell Start Orb and choose settings. Advanced mode gives many more settings to customize.
This tutorial will get you started on customizing your Win 8 installation so it’s not quite so scary.
I’m sure many additions will be placed here to aid you in your customization efforts. I hope this start will help you get over your initial shock!