I have been using Windows 8 RTM for a while now. While initially I did dislike leaving the desktop and go to the start screen, simply to open any application, I have over a period of time got used to it and I no longer get the feeling of the start screen flying in my face.
Nevertheless, it would have been a great idea if Microsoft had given Widows 8 users the option to somehow opt out of the Metro screen mode on a desktop computer. If that was not possible, then at least a way to open the start screen, without leaving the desktop, would have been nice too. But both these options are not available to the Windows 8 users, and one has to leave the desktop, go to the start screen, open an application, and then come back to the desktop for continuing with your work.
A poster at Neowin has come up with an interesting tool that lets you open the start screen without leaving the desktop. When you click on the Win flag after running the tool, the start screen will appear at the top or bottom of your desktop.
Start Menu Modifier will allow you to open the star screen at the bottom or the top of your desktop, when you click on the Win flag key.
You no longer need to leave your desktop space, thereby avoiding the need to move from one interface to another.
To scroll the tiles, you can use the scroller or use the arrow keys. The search works too, and you can simply start typing your query and hit Enter, and the search bar and the results will be displayed on the desktop itself.
The tool offers the option to set the location of the start screen as well as fix a hotkey. You can also launch start menu on toggle and make the tool run at startup. There is however no option to se the width of the start screen panel which appears on the desktop.
The freeware appears to be still under development, but you can download the latest version from the link mentioned at Neowin here. You will have to follow that post to make sure that you are downloading the latest version.