A: Windows 8 desktop no longer features a Start button on the desktop with access to programs. Instead, the Start screen is used to access applications, which when tidied up and arranged is actually a fast way to access applications.
However some people still want a Start button while they adjust, and Stardock has released an application called Start8 that adds a Start button. When it's clicked, it brings up the Application menu with Search, similar to pressing the Win key plus Q. It can be downloaded from Stardock's website.
I would urge people to really look at using the Start menu. After the Start screen is arranged and cleaned up to show the applications you really care about, it's actually very fast to use.
Below is my Start screen after I removed what I don't use and grouped logically.
See FAQs on Windows, virtualization, systems management, and all things Microsoft, at John Savill's FAQs.