Though Microsoft has done away with the Start Menu in Windows 8, it didn’t eliminate your ability to create keyboard shortcuts that launch your favorite applications with custom key combos you set. To create a keyboard shortcut for any app:
You can now launch your application by simply hitting the key combo you’ve set, no mouse movement required. That said, some applications you run may occasionally have their own CTRL + ALT + key combos that override yours, though this problem is extremely rare. We recommend assigning hot keys to your most frequently-used programs like your browser. Using the first letter of the application name as the third key (ex: CTRL + ALT + W for Microsoft Word) can be a good way to remember your shortcuts.