1) Clear Shut Down, Restart and Log Off buttons
Windows 8 has no clear restart, log off or shut down escape route. You can use Alt+f4 from the desktop environment but many may have numerous apps in the way or just not feel comfortable using shortcut keys to access something that Microsoft should have signposted better. Alternatively you can hit Windows Key+c, then hit settings, then hit power.
However, if you want icons that you can pin to the taskbar or pin to the start menu then just follow this link and unzip the contents. Then move the icons to the desktop and do with them as you wish by either running them straight from the desktop or assigning then to start menu or taskbar or both.
Click here to download a zip file containing restart, log off and shut down buttons to move to the desktop.
Open the zip file, drag the icons to the desktop and then do what you like with them.
Thanks to Softwareok.com for this tip - http://www.softwareok.com/?seite=faq-Windows-8&faq=24
2) Disable the Windows Lock screen
3) Shortcut Keys
If you want quick and easy access, then you'd better get cosy with the shortcut keys on offer.
WinKey + Q - brings up your Windows 8 search on the right hand panel. From here you can search Apps, Settings, Files as well as be given access to load up a list of already installed apps.
WinKey + Tab (must be held) - provides a left hand pane of currently opened apps and windows.
WinKey + C - opens up the Charm panel on the right hand side where you can access Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings.
Alt + F4 - closes windows/apps down