Hotkeys are indeed excellent. One of the first thing I look for in a program is hotkeys. In fact, some have so many that it’s hard to memorise all of them. But at least they’re there!
The only problem I have with Windows shortcuts being linked to them is that, because they are global throughout the whole system, it can unfortunately cause conflicts with other running applications that utilise those shortcuts. For instance, I could assign a ctrl+alt+q shortcut to launch QWS (a MIDI sequencer), and another application may use ctrl+alt+q to mean quit. I have known ctrl+alt+o for options, ctrl+alt+x for exit, ctrl+alt+n/p for next/previous, all of which can be assigned to a Windows hotkey, and then it’s touch and go as to which item activates. Otherwise, I’m definitely all for hotkeys!
As an aside, I must admit I do find it odd, and mildly frustrating that there are four modifier keys that can be used to register hotkeys and yet it is still possible to run out of logical keys! This is even more so for global shortcut-linked ones, since I think you can only have ctrl+alt and ctrl+shift combos. Possibly if you’re extremely dextrous you might be able to have ctrl+shift+alt, I haven’t dared to try that one. Lol.
First letter navigation. Now you mention it I am aware of it. I use it all the time to move quickly to files in Explorer. But for some reason it didn’t cross my mind for the desktop (even though I know that is also controlled by explorer). I guess because my explorer is in detail view, and the desktop shows as a sort of grid layout I treated them as two separate systems. Strange how brains work!