Windows 8’s new start screen would likely not affect my workflow a great deal, as I typically run applications by banging the Windows key and typing the name of the program I want to start (this works for me under GNOME 3 and Windows 7 alike).
Microsoft’s policy of restriction is what is absurd. They know that if systems administrators were given a group policy to disable the new Windows 8 start screen, or at least push it to the background, they’d do it en-masse. Thus, they’re victimizing corporate customers by forcing them to make the enterprise desktop a showcase for their new consumer look and feel.
Enterprise workstations are not billboards – people are trying to do real work, not just dicking around.