I use the start button about once every 5 minutes. Since my desktop is completely-clean of any icons, the start button is the only method I have to open new programs. Microsoft is probably lying through their teeth about "people don't use it".
Or, perhaps, it is completely true for the subset of win7 users who didn't opt out of the customer experience improvement program?
TFA notes that the telemetry from which this decision was made was from the customer experience improvement program; you *did* read it first, right?
It is possible that the set of users who did not opt out strongly represented users who pin everything they use to the taskbar. Hell, the 19 most used apps of mine are pinned to the taskbar on my windows box and there is still half a screen of air for running apps to appear on. My start menu is regularly used for the search function.
Personally, I am not bitching. Its a change, I'm not certain it is superior in a mouse/keyboard environment but I would not call it inferior to the start menu.
Anyway, to my point. Those of us who opted out (me included) actually voted not to care about influencing interface design decisions. Even if we did not realise this was out vote.
This is ithaca railway stuff, the tyranny of small decisions, we protected our right to privacy by opting out of the system used to gather data about how the UI is used. Therefore our preferences were not able to be counted.
There is a charming americanism (amongst many less so), 'If you don't vote, don't bitch!'. So before you whine about removal of the start button, first check wether or not you bothered to include yourself in the decision.
Of course, this assumes that the 'don't use start menu' group is strongly represented with the improvement program group and the 'do use start menu group' is strongly represented in the opted out group. My theory here being that power users with complex usage needs are more likely to opt out (for all kinds of sound, logical arguements...) and, therefore, not be counted.
Just my $0.02,