Then I tried Windows 8.1, and was pretty much even more lost. I added the start menu add-on program, and it got a little better, but still, a lot of basic things like closing programs, switching windows, etc. was just impossible.
Ok, so in Windows 8.1 all programs have the familiar X in the top right corner to close, both in desktop and metro mode (you can also swipe them down from top, and shouldn't really be concerned with "closing a program" to begin with when it is handled properly by the OS, but lets forget about this newfangled stuff). Same with minimize. And switching programs is the same old Alt-Tab as it has always been. Or if you want, mouse to top left corner to get a list (one of just a couple of things shown to you at Win8 install/upgrade). And if you like direct access to power user stuff Win-X (or mouse right click left corner) is a better friend than anything Win7 had to offer. But hey, if we don't want to we don't want to.