Many thanks for your advice - although your references to "OS X Launcher" go straight over my head (I assume that has something to do with Apple's incarnations, which I have NO knowledge of)!
Thanks, specifically, about the Apps-Page Search facility - I wasn't aware of that because there is NOT an obvious Search-Box (it only appears once you start typing)!
I would certainly put myself into the category of "Don't like the appearance", its harsh & garish, but I can live with that! Although if someone can tell me how to stop the border-colour of my Progs from changing (apparently because the desktop picture changes), I would appreciate the advice. If I want to view a changing colour background I'll look at the Desktop - within a Prog it is distinctly distracting!
It appears to me that the "Tile-Concept" (& a lot of the aspects underlying Win8.1) is geared towards some form of a Media-based "Playstation" - not for a serious/practical Home/Office Computer.
Probably because I am used to previous Windows, I don't find the new arrangement intuitive (the lack of an obvious Search-Box, on the Apps-Page, is an example of this)..
I seem to be spending a lot of time trying to figure things that I took for granted on previous incarnations &, other that "change for change sake", I can't understand why things are so much harder/obscure! Because of that my effective usage speed is considerably reduced.
Under previous Windows, I've always used the Task-Bar to monitor/switch etc (which I find simple) whislt, under Win8.1, some (not all - hence it is inconsistent) obliterate the Task-bar, without providing a practical alternative. I'm left using the very old-fashioned Alt-Tab to switch between Progs (or "Apps" as we are apparently required to call them). Also the non-intuitive grab/drag/wait to shut down a prog!
I've tried looking for a decent Book, on Win8.1, that will give me the information on how I need to do something, in a way that I understand & am comfortable with, but they all seem to NOT cover a specific question that I'm looking for, but simply want to emphasise how to do things Microsoft's way (as a Media Centre)!