Jimmy, when I said "apps", I was referring to Applications. Programs if you will, I should have made that clearer. Years of speaking tech shorthand let me down here.
We are both right here, the Start Page will only run two Windows 8 Tiled Apps at the same time. While true Applications, or Programs, if started from the Start Page, will dump you onto the desktop. Where you can multitask as many Programs as you have resources for.
You are right that I said Windows 9 handles the desktop better than Windows 8. However, I was referring to the Desktop in Windows, NOT a desktop computer. That said, if you are like me, and you are using Windows 9 on a desktop computer, it's a far better operating system. From what I've seen, and read at least.
For someone like George, who is moving from a VISTA Laptop, I just think it would be easier for him to move to Windows 9. Where the desktop is, as you said, essentially the same as Windows 7. Except for the ability to install Start Screen Apps, and Live Tiles.
I use MS Office 365 on my Windows 8, and was initially disappointed that it dumped me back onto the desktop. Then I found that all my Windows 7 programs, and applications, despite having a Tile on the Start Screen, also dumped me back onto the desktop.
On previous versions of Windows, I could have as many programs, and small applications open as I had the RAM for. I think what disappointed me the most about Windows 8, was if I was running a Windows 8 application from the Windows Store, I had to shut it down, to switch to another program. This brought back memories of the DOS days.
As we get closer to the release of Windows 9, there will be a lot of Windows 8 Laptops, Convertibles, and Tablets that will start to go on sale, to clear out the inventory. As I said I don't know what new hardware offerings there will be, that are "Made For Windows 9" computers. We can only wait and see.
I would like to touch on something you said. You said the majority of people don't have more than a half-dozen "core programs". On my Laptop alone, I have more than forty diagnostic, testing, and utilities programs. When I go to see a client I have to have a full bag of tricks. On my desktop, I have all those, plus my programs for Audio, and Video editing, conversion, and burning. I try to get as much off of my hard drives, and onto CD's, or DVD's as I can.
Then there's my image editing applications. Perhaps four of them is over kill, but they each have different strengths, and weakness. I have to have all of my software, and as much as can be had, a copy of my clients software. Unless it's really specialized. When you are servicing clients, it's good to have a copy of what they are using. Just so I can be on the same page as them, when they call me to tell me that such, and such went wrong.
At the request of a client I even created a Zorin OS 8 Linux virtual machine, to start to learn it. They were so adamant that they didn't want to move to Windows 8, that they were willing to move to Linux. Their objection, they didn't want "any dam toy operating system on their system critical infrastructure". I was able to talk them down, but it wasn't easy.
In closing, I would like to say that, unlike you, I am a fan of Operating Systems. Having started out on Big Iron, my first O/S of my own was Commodore DOS. Followed by DOS 2, up to DOS 6, & Windows 3.11. With a brief flirtation with O/S 2 v3, I've used Windows 95, ME, XP, Vista, 7, and now 8.1. So I've had a chance to develop a favorite, or two along the way. They each had good, and bad aspects when I was using them. Right now my favorite is Windows 7 Ultimate x64. It's on my desktop, and laptop computers, and has yet to let me down. Like Windows 8, I've never had a BSOD, unlike Windows 8 it is slow in starting. However, that may be due to the many utility programs that start with it. As I said before, I do like Windows 8.1, just not enough to make it my default O/S.
At any rate Jimmy, it's been good conversing with you. You challenged me, and were right to do so. A lesion learned for me, to check my notes, before I respond to one of these questions.