A desktop for the serious, no frills academic who needs lots of space to work and tools for research easily at hand.

Serious Wallpaper

Windows 8 Toolbars Link to folders with shortcuts to programs grouped by category (Games, Office, etc.)

Rainmeter Suite for skins

Enigma skin for Media Player, Search bars, Weather, Calendar, and System

LuaTimer skin, with some modifications, for Pomodoros

Do I Need a Jacket skin

Desktop Coral to keep toolbars always visible

Great for school. Minimized real estate so you can read and write with maximal viewing. Search bars can be customized to commonly-used research databases, like your institution's library OPAC. Timer helps keep on task.