Windows 8 Start screen with post image application installs
We are getting ready to do an almost complete hardware refresh of our entire district which includes over 1,000 student units and over 250 staff machines. All student systems are shared either in labs or carts with no real primary user. I have got the imaging process down pretty well using Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 with Windows 8 deploying with a custom start screen with the base apps of the image. My issue comes up after imaging and I deploy custom software to the various labs. This includes things like the AutoDesk suite, Adobe CS, Visual Studio, and various curriculum specific programs. The software deploys just fine but unless a specific user is logged in while the program is installed the icons never appear on the start screen the user and none of the other users will see the icon by default. They can of course click "All apps" and see all the programs but I would prefer to have all the big apps pinned to the start screen even if that means having all apps pinned and they have to scroll though a giant list of applications. I don't care if they can modify the screen after new icons are placed there but I would like to make sure they can see the icon without having to click "All apps".
I have seen a few workarounds. One is a script that traverses the start menu folder with a VB script that "right clicks" on all the files and pins them to the start menu but I would have to run it basically on every logon to make sure that no new programs have been installed since the user last used the computer and it would repin things they may have removed.
I was considering adding "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" as a task bar which allows all the normal start menu programs to be presented in a start menu like list or even putting a shortcut on the desktop. I would prefer to stay away from 3rd party start menu replacements just because I would be worried it would break with 8.1 or any number of other possible compatibility issues.
Has anyone else ran into this problem before or have any better workarounds?