I'm planning on using Windows 8 for my HTPC. Is there some way of navigating the "Metro" Windows Start screen with an Xbox 360 controller via some setting or third-party software?
There is a new app called XBStart which adds XBox 360 controller navigation to Windows 8 Start Screen. It also adds sound effects like in Xbox One.
MS allows you to use the XBox 360 controller for games in Windows without issues. However, I dont know if it will work on navigating the Modern UI.
However, if it does not work, there may be a workaround. Here are some very detailed directions on how to set up the controller as a mouse. It uses a 3rd party software called JoyToKey for mouse emulation.
Based on the screenshots and date of the article, this was done in Windows 7. I dont see why it wouldnt work on Windows 8, but you would have to test it to be sure.