Yes... navigating a tree of folders to find what you want is so much more modern...
It is indeed, because you do not have to remember the darn spelling (including/excluding vendor name and/or spaces) of a program that you maybe use once every 4-6 months. Most of the time, typing the most likely substring into the search box kind of works, but often enough it only comes up with a lot of shit -- which just isn't good enough, because it's a major step back as opposed to a well-sorted menu.
Under Win7, I have the programs that I use many-times-per-day pinned to the task bar, the programs that I use few-times-per-week pinned to the start menu (left side) and everything else, which is used rarely-if-ever in said folder hierarchy, sorted logically, not by program name. Things that I'm not interested in at all (messaging, social network shit and such) is not in the menu at all. This is a very good compromise in access time.
Win8/Metro lets you put everything on the front page, or it lets you search through a list of every single darn useless program and app that's on the computer, only assisted with some non-perfect substring matching on the program's name.