As with all things Microsoft, the launch of Windows 8 could have been better. However, with their update to Windows 8.1 (free in the Windows Store), Microsoft made great strides in turning Windows 8 into a more user friendly experience.
One of these user friendly features is the ability to boot directly in to the old "desktop" style of windows. Here's how, in 4 very easy steps!
1. Boot in to Windows 8.1 Then click the Desktop tile to enter the Desktop.
2. Right click any open spot on your taskbar, then click Properties.
3. Now click on the Navigation tab and check the box next to Go to the desktop instead of Start.
4. Click OK. You're all done!
Note: This is still not a complete "old school" solution. If you click on the "Start Button" in the bottom left of your taskbar, it will dump you right back in to the "Tiles", but there are apps that bring back the old start menu! Just go to the Windows Store and search for "Start Menu" for options.
My personal opinion is that, in a work environment, (especially one without an "IT Guy/Gal" to tend things) you want to keep machines as "stock" as possible. K.I.S.S. to reduce maintenance time/cost! Bringing back the desktop was a good step, and now you can learn Windows 8 with one major frustration out of the way!