How to add a Shut Down button to Windows 8
There are many good things about Windows 8, and there are many not so good things. People have bemoaned the loss of the Start menu, but in my opinion the biggest omission is one specific menu element: the Shut Down button. Having to open the settings Charm, then click the power button to finally get to the Shut Down option makes no sense. Thankfully, it's very easy to turn back the clock.
Step 1: Create a shortcut
Right-click on the traditional Windows desktop and select New | Shortcut. In the box that pops up, type your chosen command. You can make it a Shut Down (/s) or Restart (/r) button, and specify how long the system will wait before acting on the command (/t x)
So for a Shut Down button that waits 10 seconds type:
shutdown /s /t 10
For a Restart button that waits 3 seconds type:
shutdown /r /t 3
In the next box that pops up, name the button appropriately.
Step 2: Give it an icon
By default it has no icon, but that's easy to fix. Right-click on your new shortcut and select Properties. At the bottom of the window click Change Icon, and from the list that appears select the orange power icon. Click OK and close the Properties window.
Step 3: Create a Metro button
For the desktop you're all set, just drag your Shut Down and/or Restart buttons to a safe place. But it makes sense to add them to the Metro Start screen too. To do this, right-click the button on the desktop, choose Pin to Start, and then in the Metro screen simply drag your button to the left so it's always within reach.
And that's it. You'll never have to click through the power options in the settings Charm again.
Tip of the hat to ZDNet's very good Windows 8 customisation tips page.