While you can still set up desktop apps to load when Windows 8 starts, they don't have the priority they once did. Quite the opposite, in fact. Windows 8 delays their launch to ensure everything else starts more quickly. This can make the system more responsive as your system boots, but if you're switching straight to the desktop then it may slow you down, so it may be worth turning off the delay. To do this, open RegEdit and look for the following string:
If Serialize does not exist, right-click on 'Explorer' and select 'New->Key' then name it 'Serialize'. Now, right-click in the right pane and select 'New->DWORD Value'. Name it 'StartupDelayInMSec' and set the value to '0'.
Now, restart your computer and all desktop apps should launch more quickly. Try three or four test boots to see if there's any improvement. If there is not, simply delete the 'StartupDelayInMSec' value to restore the default settings.