In Windows 8 there are three ways to find your programs to start running them. In Windows 7 and before you had two ways with first being start menu and second the desktop
In Windows 8 the default way of finding your programs is that they are show as tiles on the Metro interface. The tiles are the big icons that usually represent one program but can be subdivided and represent several programs. You can scroll to the right and see the tiles not present on the screen
The second way is by using a down arrow that appears on the Metro interface. Under the tiles in the far left you will see a small down arrow. Clicking that arrow will take you to a different interface where all the programs are listed in alphabetical order with names.
The third way is to go to the desktop. There is a tile in the Metro interface that says desktop and shows the background you have on your desktop. Clicking this tile will take you to a desktop that is similar to the desktop that is used in Windows 7 with icons for your programs and anything else you store on the desktop.
One side note while discussing these interfaces. Internet Explorer has different versions of the program that run when you start it from the Metro interface and when you start from the desktop. The one that runs from the Metro interface is not compatible with all web sites. The one that runs from the desktop is the same version you can install in Windows 7.