Holy cow batman! That's a lot of icons!
I know personally, I would go nuts if I had that many icons on my desktop at any one time. I did try to see what it was like, and I copied a bunch of jpg files to my desktop...at my resolution, I was able to get 22 across and 10 down, which is LESS then what you have going down. Not to mention the number of items in your system tray...is every one of those icons a running program that starts when your computer boots up?
The other thing that I have noticed is that, like a lot of us who post here, you have been running Windows for a very long time. We all have programs that we have run over the years that we all like, and wish there was a way for them to run forever on every future version of Windows.
But, I think the reality is, programs do have a life span, and at some point, you have to let those old programs die. All of us on this forum probably can name quite a number of applications going back to Windows 95 that they loved to use, and wish they could still use today.
I'm not saying you need to abandon all past applications and be "forced" to change with the times...that's not it at all. However, I think there is a choice that you need to make here. Are those programs that important to you that if they are not supported or work the same way in the next version of Windows, that it will force you to not upgrade? If not, what options are out there that give you the functionally of that existing application so you can upgrade your OS?
Finally, I think you do need to take a step back from all the modifications you make to try to "fit" the OS to be the way you want it to be. As an example of what I'm talking about, you probably saw that very long post that I made in this thread showing the 67 steps that I went though when I installed Windows 8. I had a similar list for when I installed Windows XP, and do you know it was 3 TIMES as long as that list. Why was it so long? Well, prior to running Windows XP, I used Windows 2000. I loved Windows 2000 so much that I did everything I could to try to make XP be Windows 2000. When Windows 7 came out, I wanted to do the same thing. But, I did not. Instead, I came up with a new approach. Run things as close to default as possible. Before I go in and try to change this that and the other thing, I felt I needed to run it the way it was designed, and see if I liked it. How would I know if it was good or not if the very first thing I did was modify the heck out of it?
I did the same with Windows 8. At first, I wanted to go figure out how to make all the exact same changes in Windows 8 that I had made in Windows 7. But then I stopped myself, and remembered what I did when I first installed Windows 7. Run as default.
I'm not saying no one should be allowed to modify settings or customize the OS to fit their needs. If that was the case, the options to change things would never have been coded in the first place. That is what makes Windows so great, you can customize it as much as you can.
But, I think the bottom line here is this. There is a "happy place" somewhere in the middle between "No changes" and "I want to make Windows 8 look and run like Windows XP". Each person is different, but I think if you are able to find that happy medium in the middle somewhere, then you may have a better experience with whatever version of the OS Microsoft comes out with next.
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